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Mangudadatu to ask Duterte for moratorium on military operations in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY – Outgoing Maguindanao Gov. Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu will ask President Duterte and Congress for a one-year moratorium on military operations in his province.

Mangudadatu, who was proclaimed winner in the second district congressional race in Maguindanao on Thursday, said this would be one of his first acts when he joins the 18th Congress in June.

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“Wala munang giyera for one year, hihingin ko yan sa Congress lalung-lalo na kay Presidente. Tama na muna yung barilan (I am hoping there will no more war for one year, I will ask that from Congress, especially from the President. Let’s put a stop to the fighting),” Mangudadatu said here on Thursday shortly after his proclamation.

He said the national government should let the newly established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to lay down all the projects and reintegration programs intended for the rebel groups, who are expected to lay down their arms.

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“Bigyan muna ng power ang BARMM, ang chief minister, na suyuin ang lawless elements. Hayaan na muna na ihayag at ilatag nila ang programa ng gobyerno na kung ano ang mga programang ibibigay sa Moro Islamic Liberaton Front ay ganon din ang ibibigay sa kanila kung magbabalik-loob sila,” he said.

(Let the BARMM, the chief minister, have the power to woo the lawless elements. Give them the chance to disseminate and lay down the government’s programs for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to show to them what they would get if they would return to mainstream society.)

The government, through the BARMM, has been preparing for the decommissioning of MILF fighters and their reintegration into civilian life as part of the normalization process following the creation of the BARMM and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the body that will govern the BARMM until a new set of officials are elected in 2022.

He noted that BARMM Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, Environment Minister Abdulraof Macacua, and Chief of Staff Mohaqher Iqbal would be key to help convince the rebel groups to surrender. (EditorLeti Boniol)

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