BARMM political coalition formed

SOME 200 political leaders and over 20,000 sectoral representatives from Christian, Moro and indigenous people’s communities converged on Sunday in Marawi City for the launch of a coalition for peace ahead of next year’s first Bangsamoro elections. — PHILIPPINE STAR/JOHN FELIX M. UNSON

COTABATO CITY — Influential leaders across the Bangsamoro provinces converged in Marawi City on Sunday to launch a peace coalition among once-opposing political groups in preparation for next year’s first parliamentary elections in the autonomous region.

The event at the Sarimanok Stadium in Marawi City had in attendance Governors Hadji Abdusakur Mahail Tan, Sr. of Sulu, Mariam Sangki of Maguindanao del Sur, and Mamintal Alonto Adiong, Jr. of Lanao del Sur; Basilan Rep. Mujiv Salliman Hataman, Marawi City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra, and Suharto Tan Mangudadatu, executive-director of the Technical Skills Education and Development Authority.

More than 20,000 people attended the event for launching the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Grand Coalition or BGC, which aims to boost governance by the Bangsamoro regional government via essential technical, administrative and political interventions.

On Monday, the regional Serbisyong Inklusibo Alyansang Progresibo (SIAP) party chaired by Lanao del Sur Vice Gov. Mohammad Khalid Rakiin Adiong, was lauded for organizing the event which brought together political leaders who once disliked one another.

Mr. Hataman had served as regional governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which got replaced by the BARMM through a plebiscite in 2019, while Mr. Mangudadatu was former governor of Sultan Kudarat province in Region 12.

The Mangudadatus also have their regional political party, the Al-Ittihad, that also has thousands of members in Bangsamoro towns in Central Mindanao.

BARMM covers Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Lamitan, Marawi and Cotabato. — John Felix M. Unson