MNLF’s political bloc urge members to stay off hostile politics

John Unson - Philstar.com
MNLF�s political bloc urge members to stay off hostile politics
Officials of the Moro National Liberation Front's political bloc are together keeping their cordiality with counterparts in other partisan groups in the Bangsamoro region, to hold its first parliamentary polls next year.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The political party of the Moro National Liberation Front on Saturday reminded its more than 90,000 duly-registered members to avoid arguments over politics with members of other regional partisan groups now gearing up for the 2025 parliamentary elections in the Bangsamoro region.

The MNLF’s Bangsamoro Party, most known in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as the “Bapa Party,” had been registered with the Commission on Elections.

Party officials on Saturday took turns urging, via different radio stations, the members and supporters of the Bapa Party in the six BARMM provinces, Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, to avoid engaging in political discourses on Facebook and other communication platforms to avoid escalating the brewing tensions now among partisans identified with different regional political blocs.

Regional political parties in BARMM have markedly been active in provincial gatherings since last month, consolidating members as part of the preparations for next year’s first ever Bangsamoro parliamentary elections.

Present members of the 80-seat BARMM parliament, first organized in 2019 after the replacement of the then 27-year Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a more empowered BARMM as part of Malacañang’s peace overture with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, are all presidential appointees, including their figurehead, Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim.

“Our main focus for now is sustain the religious and cultural solidarity among all communities in the Bangsamoro region to keep the gains of our final peace agreement with the national government,” the president of Bapa Party, BARMM Labor and Employment Minister Muslimin Sema, said on Saturday, referring to the MNLF’s September 2, 1996 peace pact with Malacañang.

Serving as regional labor and employment minister for almost two years now, Sema, also chairman of the MNLF’s central committee, and representatives of the front in the BARMM parliament, among them Hatimil Hassan and Muslimin Jakilan of Basilan, Abuamri Taddik and Adzfar Usman of Sulu and Romeo Sema and Omar Sema of Cotabato City, together launched the Bapa Party in Barrio Kakar here last May 11.

The event was attended by some 30,000 Bapa Party members and supporters from across BARMM and from the 63 Bangsamoro barangays in Cotabato province in Region 12 and in this city, the capital of the autonomous region.

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