MANILA, Philippines: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivered a powerful message of unity and progress for Mindanao, emphasizing that a stronger Mindanao would lead to a stronger Philippines. Speaking at the 17th Meeting of the National Government-Bangsamoro Government Intergovernmental Relations Body, President Marcos expressed his unwavering support for the Bangsamoro peace process and urged the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to resist any attempts by external forces to derail their dreams and aspirations.
President Marcos emphasized the importance of a united BARMM, stating, “A stronger BARMM means a stronger Mindanao. A stronger Mindanao means a stronger Philippines, bringing us closer to achieving our agendas.” He highlighted the need to replace the “bloody tally of war” with the “scoreboard of development,” emphasizing that peace has triumphed and the era of conflict is over.
Addressing the upcoming election in May 2025, President Marcos assured the BARMM of his administration’s support, stating, “We will be by your side to ensure its success. Let us show the world that it is peaceful and credible.” He called for strict adherence to democratic principles and urged all stakeholders to prevent violence, intimidation, or bribery from disenfranchising even a single voter.
Mindanao, the southernmost region of the Philippines, has long been plagued by armed conflict and separatist movements. The establishment of the BARMM in 2019 marked a significant step towards peace and autonomy for the region. President Marcos’ reaffirmation of his administration’s commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process is a clear indication of his determination to foster lasting peace and development in Mindanao.
The President’s call for unity and progress in Mindanao is particularly significant given recent calls for the separation of Mindanao from the Philippines. While acknowledging the diverse perspectives within the region, President Marcos emphasized the need for a unified approach, rooted in democratic processes and the pursuit of shared goals.
It is essential to contextualize the situation in Mindanao for an international audience. The Bangsamoro peace process is a unique endeavor that seeks to address historical grievances and promote self-governance for the Bangsamoro people. The BARMM operates under a different set of rules, distinct from the rest of the Philippines, as part of efforts to address the specific needs and aspirations of the region.
President Marcos’ commitment to a peaceful and credible election reflects the significance of democratic processes in the region. Mindanao has witnessed a long history of violence and political instability, and ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process is crucial in building trust and fostering stability.
By emphasizing the importance of development and progress, President Marcos highlights the transformative potential of peace. Mindanao, with its rich natural resources and diverse cultural heritage, has the capacity to become an economic powerhouse and a beacon of multicultural harmony. By supporting the BARMM and its pursuit of peace, President Marcos aims to unlock this potential and contribute to the overall development of the Philippines.
In conclusion, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call for unity and progress in Mindanao demonstrates his administration’s unwavering commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process. By emphasizing the importance of a stronger BARMM and its positive impact on Mindanao and the Philippines as a whole, President Marcos seeks to rally support for the region’s development and foster lasting peace. His assurance of support for the upcoming election underscores the significance of democratic processes in achieving stability and progress. As Mindanao continues its journey towards peace and development, the international community must recognize the unique context and challenges faced by the region, while also appreciating its immense potential.
Source: The Manila Times