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FROM THE MAIL | Someone has finally done something

By: Hasmeyya L. Tiboron


WE, HUMAN beings, are fallible. But when BARMM officials fail to live up to our expectations, we are quick to blame the system rather than the fallible human beings acting in the name of the government. The Bangsamoro Government may be far from perfect but our history shows that, at least, we have the lesser of the two evils.

In my early teenage years, I heard how Muslims are treated unfairly in other parts of the Philippines so I thought it was a privilege to live in the Bangsamoro land. Here, we Muslims can practice our religion in public and even preach about it. Our women could cover themselves in many layers they want and still can ride on public vehicles. Our men can grow their beard and still get a job. 

I thought that this was already the best we could get as a minority in a Catholic-majority nation.

Bangsamoros should also be led by Bangsamoros, but we’ve also seen that not all who claim to be leaders should lead. For the past decades before the establishment of BARMM, we’d seen corruption and violence thriving in plain sight. Elections back then were less about ideology and platforms and more about outbidding rivals and outnumbering their goons. Whoever won would have unquestionable power so whoever won didn’t matter, we’d still live with corruption and violence as if they were a normal part of life. 

But our Moro leaders didn’t stop striving against the injustices we didn’t deserve. 

It’s 2014 when the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and our Moro leaders, MILF, finally agreed to put an end to the decades, if not centuries, of war between them. Since then, the government of the day hasn’t failed to act upon its promises. 

The Bangsamoro land was once called a failed experiment due to billions of ghost projects, ghost beneficiaries, ghost procurement, and even ghost students as funds for public schools depending on the number of their students. 

But now, we can clearly see peace and development thriving in plain sight.

There is no such thing as a perfect government. However, in contrast to previous implementing bodies and those who claim to have run the regional government better, the government of the day has proven trustworthy and capable of representing our ideals and aspirations with humanity and humility since its establishment in 2019. 

Now, surprisingly, expressing our disappointments doesn’t get us killed. More surprisingly, sometimes we get lucky and our collective disappointment is often heard and taken action upon.

As part of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the interim government was required to exit once they met the deliverables for the normalization track in 2022 which was later extended to 2025. 

If the extension is no longer possible and a parliamentary election happens, we hope that whoever wins the people’s mandate won’t reverse all the gains of the peace process and lower the bar again. 


Hasmeyya LTiboron is a writer from Cotabato City. 


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