BARMM launches ‘Salamat Award’ in honor of late MILF founder Salamat Hasim

The MNLF in 1976. MNLF chair Nur Misuari (center, seated). MNLF vice chair Salamat Hashim (fourth from right, standing) would later form the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Photo courtesy of MNLF Facebook page

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 21 December) — The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has launched the “Salamat Award” in honor of the late Salamat Hashim, founding chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

BARMM Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said the Salamat Excellence for Leadership Award or SEAL was designed to recognize outstanding local chief executives (LCEs) in the Bangsamoro region.

“The award is named after the founding chair of the MILF whose quality of leadership is astounding,” Sinarimbo was quoted as saying in a report from the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO).

The Salamat Award was launched last Friday in Cotabato City, the same day the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) feted 118 local government units (LGUs) across the region for excellence this year.

The outstanding LGUs received cash incentives ranging from P20,000 to P200,000 under the Local Government Functional Appraisal Award and the Lupon Tagapamayapa Incentive Award of the MILG.

The Salamat Award aims to contribute in the “establishment of moral governance in the BARMM by popularizing the principle of volunteerism and primary common good demonstrated by Salamat Hashim as key to regional peace and development,” according to the BIO.

Sinarimbo said the Salamat Award will be “the most prestigious award that the region would undertake to recognize LCEs who show excellent performance.”

Winners of the Salamat Award will be known next year, with the outstanding LCEs getting projects ranging from P250,000 to P2.5 million.

Sinarimbo said the award “would encourage local chief executives and leaders to embrace the principles of accountability, participatory and service-oriented leadership as key to local development; and instill in the heart and mind of leaders and communities the culture of patriotism and promotion of social responsibility.”

Hashim, vice chair of the Moro National Liberation Front who broke away in the late 1970s to form the MILF, passed away on July 13, 2003 in Camp Bushra in Butig, Lanao del Sur.

The reclusive Hashim succumbed to a lingering illness and was succeeded by Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, who was then the MILF vice chair for military affairs.

Last year following the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the enabling law that created the Bangsamoro region, Murad was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the interim chief minister of the BARMM and is now formally addressed as Ahod Ebrahim.

The BARMM is the major component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the final peace deal between the government and the MILF signed in 2014 after 17 years of peace negotiations.

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