BARMM Cabinet reshuffled: Ebrahim to serve as Finance Minister

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 November) – Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim announced changes in the Cabinet of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) effective November 11, among them his serving in a concurrent capacity as Finance Minister.

The BARMM Bureau of Public Information on Tuesday said Ebrahim, who served in a concurrent capacity since February as Minister of Public Works has taken over the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Management (MBFBM) from Eduard Guerra, a licensed architect who will now serve as Public Works Minister.

Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and chair of the  Moro Islamic Liberation Front. He is concurrently serving as Finance Minister, effective November 11, 2019, MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Ebrahim, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, had served in a concurrent capacity as Public Works Minister since the BARMM took over from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on February 26 this year.

Ebrahim, who made the announcement during a Cabinet meeting on Monday, said Abdulraof Macacua, who was appointed Environment Minister in February, will now serve as Executive Secretary aside from being Environment Minister of the nine-month old BARMM.

Before he was named to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) and the BARMM Cabinet, Macacua was Chief of Staff of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).

Macacua replaced Mike Pasigan as Executive Secretary.

BARMM comprises the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, and the cities of Marawi, Lamitan and Cotabato City, and 63 villages in six North Cotabato towns. Cotabato City and the North Cotabato villages voted yes to inclusion in the BARMM during the plebiscites in January and February but these local government units have yet to be turned over to the BARMM.

When they took over from the ARMM on February 26, Ebrahim, head of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) that is governing the BARMM until June 30, 2022, vowed a government that will “really be free of all the ills of governance.”

“Now we acknowledge that we are entering another level of our jihad. Our jihad will be more intense and more challenging, our jihad firstly will be against our own self,” Murad said, adding “our enemies are all the ills of governance… our enemy is graft and corruption, our enemy is the manipulation of government, our enemy is nepotism, our enemy is all those ills of government.”

Murad added that aside from taking their oath as BTA members before President in Malacanang on February 22, “we will also take oath to Allah, over the Koran, Inshallah. This is to ensure to you that, Inshallah, we will work for a government that will really be free of all the ills of governance.”

The Bay’a or taking of the oath of moral governance before the Koran, was done during the inauguration of the BARMM on March 29 this year.

Ebrahim explained then that when they started the revolution to assert their right to self-determination, they took an oath before the Koran. “Today as we start our governance, we will also do the same,” he said.

Ebrahim recalled that as they were guided in their armed struggle by the tenets of Islam, they will also be guided by the teachings of Islam “in delivering the trust given to us to run the Bangsamoro government, the brand of governance that Islam advocates — that is, moral governance.”

“We vow to make moral governance as the foundation of this leadership,” he said as he thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for making the event “more significant and historic.”

Duterte, who graced the inaugural, told members of the BTA that “your region’s future is now in your hands.”

“To my dear Bangsamoro sisters and brothers in the BTA, the power to chart the course of your region’s future is now in your hands. I trust that you will wield this power with utmost care, the future of succeeding generations of the Filipinos, especially the Moro of Mindanao, depends on it,” he said. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)