Photo by Michael Camsa/BIO
COTABATO CITY—Following the reconciliation of two Iranun clans in Maguindanao del Norte, on Feb. 15, Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim revealed that the Bangsamoro Government adopts a holistic approach to unite the Bangsamoro.
He said that part of the BARMM Government’s major programs is the reconciliation efforts for warring clans in the region, which could greatly hamper progress and development if not resolved.
“We would like to inform everyone that this is a major policy of the BARMM Government—ang paghanap ng paraan para magkaroon ng tunay na pagkakaisa […] hindi ito tribal, holistic ang approach natin na gusto nating magkaisa ang lahat,” Ebrahim said.
After a series of reconciliation efforts, in collaboration with BARMM Ministries, the security sector, and local chief executives, the political feud between the Tomawis and Ibay clans has finally ended.
On Wednesday, families and BARMM key officials witnessed the formal reconciliation of the two parties. Former Mayor Barok Tomawis of the Tomawis Clan and former Mayor Dr. Ibrahim Ibay of the Ibay Clan led the formal reconciliation inside the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM) Building in this city.
Ebrahim said that the settlement was a mutual decision of both parties that was mediated by the Bangsamoro Government.
“Alam nating lahat na itong reconciliation ay walang kondisyon, walang hiniling ang pamilya Ibay at walang hiniling ang pamilya Tomawis. Everybody is sincere as they have been working together in the areas of Parang, Barira, and Buldon. So, I am very happy [that] finally, they decided to come together,” the Chief Minister said.
Accordingly, the two clans agreed to end their decades-long feud because of their greater desire for sustainable peace and development in their towns. The reconciliation talks for the said clans commenced as early as last year.
“Kailangan [na] magkaisa ang mga leaders para umusad ang development. Ang aming pamilya ay nakikiisa sa kapayapaan at development. Sayang ang ibinigay ng National Government para sa Bangsamoro if hindi magkaisa ang mga leaders,” Former Mayor Tomawis said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ibay said, “sincere ang pagpunta namin dito at lubos ang aming pasasalamat para sa mga taong tumulong para sa pagkakaisa ng aming mga pamilya. Itong Ibay at Tomawis ay dating iisa. Nagsimula ang aming career sa pulitika dahil iisa lang kami, nagtutulungan kami […] itong pagkakaisa namin ay para sa development.”
“Ang naiipit at nahihirapan [ay] ang supporters. Dapat lang [na] magkaisa kami para umunlad,” Ibay emphasized.
Minister for the interior and local government (MILG) Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo concurred that in order to facilitate developments in the region, political and security issues must be resolved first.
He noted that this reconciliation effort will greatly benefit the ongoing camp transformation at Camp Abubakar of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is situated in Barira, Maguindanao del Norte, as part of the normalization process under the Bangsamoro peace process.
“This is a very significant occasion, not just for Maguindanao but also for the Regional Government […] our goal is to promote development, but we are unwilling to do it in places where there is violence,” Sinarmbo said.
Also present at the event were Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua, Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal, former Congresswoman Bai Sandra Sema, Parang Mayor Cahar Ibay with Vice Mayor Adnan Biruar, Upi Mayor Ma. Rona Cristina Flores, Northern Kabuntalan Mayor Datu Umbra Dilangalen, Matanog Mayor Zohria Bansil-Guro, Matanog Vice Mayor Sanaira Ali, Datu Blah Sinsuat Vice Mayor Raida Tomawis Sinsuat, 6ID Commander MGen Alex Santos Rillera PA, and 1st Marine Brigade Commander BGen Eric A Macaambac PN(M). (Aisah Abas/Majid Nur/BIO)