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Saturday, May 18, 2024

President warns BARMM elections saboteurs

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President Ferdinand Marcos had recently warned individuals trying to intervene and derail the first BARMM parliamentary election next year.

“Let this serve as a warning to those who may plan to threaten and derail this upcoming election, don’t even think about it because you will be up against the government,” the President said.

Marcos, however, urged those who are planning to intervene in the election that they should instead channel their energy in more positive ways, such as “To help build productive and thriving communities where citizens are offered wide livelihood opportunities and healthy living spaces,” he stated.

President Marcos also reminded the public to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming election “as you chart your political future in the forthcoming first BARMM elections in May 2025,” the President said.

He also urged people to safeguard those rights, and at the same time empower yourselves, and take part in our shared task of nation-building, he added.

He also reassured BARMM of the honest, orderly, and credible conduct of the electoral process.

Previously, the League of Bangsamoro Organizations called on President Marcos to extend the Bangsamoro Transition Authority until 2028, which would postpone the scheduled BARMM elections in 2025.

“This extension period is indispensable for both parties to consolidate their efforts towards achieving a successful signing of the exit agreement as envisioned in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB),” LBO spokesperson Mahdi Amella said.

The BTA extension is crucial for the peace deal between MILF and the government, which is not yet fully implemented, according to LBO.

On this note, the President affirmed the government’s commitment to develop further infrastructure projects in Mindanao under the ‘Build, Better, More’ program, during the inauguration of the largest Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project II (MMIP II) in Pikit, Cotabato, on Monday.

The MMIP II, situated in Villarica, Midsayap, is poised to provide water to over 10,000 hectares of farmland spanning Pikit, Aleosan in Cotabato, and Pagalungan and Datu Montawal in Maguindanao, which is twice the size of Manila.

Marcos envisioned that more than 4,000 farmers, including former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants, would reap the benefits of abundant harvests amid the El Niño phenomenon.

“At this juncture, allow me to make a commitment. It’s not just irrigation that will flow into your lands. There are many more agricultural projects to come,” President Marcos asserted during his address at the inauguration ceremony in Brgy. Bago Inged.

He further assured residents, particularly those in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), that the ‘Build Better More’ program transcends urban-centric development, extending its reach through rural and nationwide initiatives.

Additionally, President Marcos underscored the MMIP II’s role in bolstering Mindanao’s agricultural sector, emphasizing its significance beyond supplying water to farmlands.

“The MMIP II canal is not merely a waterway or a source of life; it is a wellspring of hope for our nation. Without water, there are no farms. Without farms, there are no food. No food, no life. Therefore, water is life,” President Marcos said.

He elucidated on the inseparable link between water security and food security, asserting that the irrigation project serves as a conduit not only for crop cultivation but also for nurturing peace and democracy in the region.

Furthermore, President Marcos envisioned the MMIP II as a catalyst for transforming Mindanao into a fertile ground for agricultural abundance, fostering peace, and ensuring progress for future generations.

Before concluding his address, President Marcos thanked the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), local government units (LGUs), and uniformed personnel for their unwavering support for the MMIP II.

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