ARMM celebrates ‘¿nal’ founding anniversary

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News -

COTABATO CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM has celebrated what could be its last and final founding anniversary after 29 years of rule over the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.

And with the January referendum of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman expressed optimism that constituents in the provinces would vote for the establishment of a new Bangsamoro autonomous region.

“Buo ang tiwala ko na ito na ang pinakahuling anibersaryo ng ARMM,” said Gov. Hataman during the celebration held here last Monday.

Looking happy yet emotional, Gov. Hataman expressed his gratitude to all the regional government’s partners and stakeholders who have been part of the success of the ARMM. “Hindi ko kayo makakalimutan dahil sa haba ng ating pinagsamahan,” he said.

In the last seven years, the governor stood proud before this crowd stating that his administration has been described as “the youngest, the longest, and the best regional government” in the history of ARMM.

However, Gov. Hataman believes that this year’s celebration of Pakaradjaan is not the end, but the start of new beginnings for the Bangsamoro people through the establishment of the new Bangsamoro government. He urged ARMM constituents to support the incoming new Bangsamoro government and participate in the plebiscite on January 21.

“Kung mababago ang lahat at makakamit natin ang tunay na kapayapaan, sigurado ako, tayong lahat din ang makikinabang,” he said.

ARMM Vice Gov. Haroun Al-rashid Lucman also said that the celebration is about standing proud in leaving behind the region that has been previously stigmatized as a failed experiment. “ARMM has made a remarkable turnaround to become a responsive, efficient, and effective government,” he said.

Vice Gov. Lucman gave credit to the workforce of the present administration, and most significantly, to Gov. Hataman for his effort in making ARMM far better than it was.

Thousands of employees from the region’s different offices and line agencies participated in a parade to officially open the anniversary celebration. Among those who joined the celebration were Anak Mindanao Executive Director Sitti Djalia Turabin Hataman, Marawi civic leader and senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc, and Basilan Governor Jim Hataman Salliman.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, who was represented by his chief of staff, Alfonso Miguel Lima, said on his message: “naniniwala kami na sa pamamagitan ng Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), masisigurado na imbes baril at granada ang itataas, ay libro at lapis; araro at binhi;pala at semento ang hahawakan ng mgabangsamoro. Ang kapayapaan ay nakakamit kapag ito ay nakapulupot sa kaunlaran.”

He also said the BOL should be seen not as a break, but as a continuation, an evolution, or an expansion, even of the trajectories that have started in ARMM.

Celebrities from Manila – such as singers Jessa Zaragoza, JBK Band, and comedians GB Labrador and Alex Calleja – graced the event to perform and entertain the audience.

Representatives from each of ARMM’S five provinces performed their cultural dance presentations during the program.

ARMM agencies with the most number of contingents and most creative during the parade were also given recognition. These are as follows: 2nd runner up – Department of Education; 1st runner up – Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and winner – Office of the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs and ARMM Development Academy.

The celebration of ‘Pakaradjaan 2018’ started on March 26 and will culminate on December 19. Gov. Hataman is expected to deliver his last Ulat sa Bayan’ on December 18. (Bureau of Public Information)

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