COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 31 March) – The recent leadership changes involving some ministries in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are in line with the efforts in pursuit of “moral governance” to further improve the economic prospects and uplift the lives of the people in the region, Interim Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said.
Addressing members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) or the Bangsamoro parliament late last week here, Ebrahim noted that he asked the leaders of the different ministries and offices of the regional government to tender their resignation.
This, he said, came after a critical and independent assessment of the performance of agencies under the Bangsamoro government.
“After the assessment, a greater number of our ministers, deputy ministers and heads of offices were retained and others were either replaced or reassigned,” Ebrahim stressed.
“This is part of our efforts to ensure that the government of the day is effectively performing and that our governance is anchored on transparency and accountability,” he added.
Moral governance is not about imposing Islamic governance but imposing the moral virtues of Islam to government officials and workers in the Bangsamoro government, Ebrahim said in a 2019 interview with Anadolu Agency.
“Because if you look at the moral virtues of Islam, it is for mankind, it is not only for Muslims. You will notice in the holy Qur’an that there are many verses which are addressed to mankind instead of only to Muslims. So, we are careful also because maybe they will be saying we are establishing Islamic government, which is not very popular among the other people in the area,” he further told Turkey’s state-run news agency.
Last March 14, Ebrahim, also the chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), convened his Cabinet in a face-to-face meeting to discuss the priorities of the Bangsamoro government.
Three new ministers took their “Oath of Moral Governance,” which Ebrahim administered.
They are Minister Ubaida Pacasem, a lawyer, of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Management (MFBM); Minister Datu Muslimin Sema of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE); and Minister Akmad Brahim of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE).
Prior to their appointment, Pacasem and Brahim were the Deputy Ministers for MFBM and MENRE, respectively.
On the other hand, former Cotabato City Mayor Datu Muslimin Sema, who is also the current Moro National Liberation Front chairman, replaced Member of Parliament Romeo Sema as the minister for MOLE. Muslimin is the uncle of Romeo.
Aside from those ministries, Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas also assumed as officer-in-charge for the Ministry of Health. The rest of the ministers were reinstated.
The Bangsamoro region was established in 2019 following the ratification of Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the BARMM.
BARMM replaced the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The creation of the Bangsamoro region is the key component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the final peace accord of the government and the MILF signed in 2014 after 17 years of negotiations. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)