MNLF to join BARMM’s first parliamentary polls

John Unson - The Philippine Star
MNLF to join BARMM�s first parliamentary polls
The coalition of political leaders in different Bangsamoro provinces have pledged support for Malacañang's effort to have peaceful and credible parliamentary elections in the autonomous region in 2025.
Photo courtesy of Philstar.com / John Unson

MANILA, Philippines — The political party of the Moro National Liberation Front has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to allow the MNLF to participate in the first parliamentary elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

As this developed, President Marcos expressed confidence that the BARMM parliamentary elections on May 12, 2025 would be peaceful.

In a speech during the BARMM Mayors Conference in Manila on Monday, Marcos cited the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure the success of the elections.

The MNLF’s Bangsamoro Party or BAPA was registered at the Comelec’s central office as a regional political party more than a year ago.

The party claims more than 200,000 members and supporters across BARMM’s six provinces and three cities.

BAPA president Muslimin Sema, who is chief of the Bangsamoro Labor and Employment Ministry, and other party officials on Monday filed with the Comelec office in Cotabato City a petition for an imprimatur, which if granted, would allow the MNLF to participate in the BARMM elections.

In September 1996, the MNLF entered into a peace agreement with the government to end a two-decade conflict.

Meanwhile, Marcos urged local officials to take advantage of the opportunities to promote development in the Bangsamoro region.

“I hope the BARMM elections will be successful. And by successful, I mean it will be peaceful, accountable and transparent... all the things that we want in an election that is not disorderly... that has clear results,” Marcos said.

”Sometimes it is hard to achieve, but we will do what we can and hopefully this will be the most peaceful one that we have seen yet. That is why I asked all of you to come today, because we need you to be part of efforts that we are putting together to make the elections a success,” he added.

Citing Mindanao’s potential, Marcos urged stakeholders to further develop the region through unity and constructive dialogue.

He said large manufacturing facilities could be established in the region to create jobs and livelihood for the people.

Some firms are planning to do business in Mindanao due to ongoing investments in the area, he said.

“All of these opportunities are available to us. It’s up to us to take advantage. The only way to do it is to work together and understand one another,” Marcos said. — Alexis Romero

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