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BARMM polls a true test of regional democracy — Hataman

House Deputy Minority Leader and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman said on Wednesday that the 2025 elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be the true test of democracy and peace in the region.

Hataman made the statement on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that paved the way for the establishment of BARMM.

“Ang halalan sa susunod na taon ang tunay na esensya ng kapayapaan at demokrasyang ipinaglaban natin sa Bangsamoro, dahil may kalayaan na ang mamamayan na pumili ng mga taong mamumuno sa rehiyon,” Hataman said.

The true test of the peace in BARMM, Hataman stressed, is the exercise of the people’s democratic right to choose their leaders.

“Let us work together for genuine peace in the Bangsamoro, which will be realized if democracy is vibrant and the freedom of the people to choose their leaders becomes a reality,” he added.

For the past five years, leaders of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) that make up the Bangsamoro Parliament were all appointed by the President. An election was supposed to be conducted in 2022, but Congress extended the existence of the BTA for another three years.

Since the signing of the CAB on March 27, 2014, Hataman said BARRM has made significant strides in the pursuit of lasting peace and development in Mindanao.

“As a former governor of ARMM, I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand how the peace process evolved and flourished under the Aquino administration, culminating in its finalization during the Duterte administration,” he said.

“Peace is integral to the progress and development of BARMM, and the CAB has provided the framework upon which we can build a more inclusive and prosperous society for all,” Hataman added.

The solon also underscored the importance of upholding the principles and provisions outlined in the CAB, “ensuring that the gains we have achieved are sustained and further strengthened in the years to come.”

“As we celebrate this milestone, let us reaffirm our commitment to building a brighter future for the Bangsamoro people. Let us continue to work together, hand in hand, towards the realization of our shared vision of peace, prosperity, and unity in the region,” he asserted.

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