COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/March 31) – Recent leadership changes involving some ministries in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are part of efforts aimed at “moral governance” to further improve prospects economies and uplift the lives of people in the region, Acting Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said.
Addressing members of the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority (BTA) or Bangsamoro parliament late last week here, Ebrahim noted that he had asked the leaders of the various ministries and regional government offices to present their resignation.
This, he said, came after a critical and independent assessment of the performance of agencies under the Bangsamoro government.
“After the assessment, more of our ministers, deputy ministers and heads of office were retained and others were either replaced or reassigned,” Ebrahim pointed out.
“This is part of our efforts to ensure that the government in place functions effectively and that our governance is anchored on transparency and accountability,” he added.
Moral governance is not about imposing Islamic governance but about imposing the moral virtues of Islam on government officials and Bangsamoro government workers, Ebrahim said in a 2019 interview with Anadolu Agency.
“Because if you look at the moral virtues of Islam, it is for humanity, it is not just for Muslims. You will notice in the Holy Quran that there are many verses that address to humanity and not only to Muslims. So we are careful also because maybe they will say that we are establishing an Islamic government, which is not very popular among other people in the region,” he said. he again told the official Turkish news agency.
On March 14, Ebrahim, also chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), summoned his cabinet to a face-to-face meeting to discuss the priorities of the Bangsamoro government.
Three new ministers took their “oath of moral governance”, administered by Ebrahim.
They are Minister Ubaida Pacasem, lawyer, from 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 respectively deputy ministers of the MFBM and MENRE.
On the other hand, the former Mayor of Cotabato City, Datu Muslimin Sema, who is also the current Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, replaced MP Romeo Sema as Minister of MOLE. Muslimin is Romeo’s uncle.
Apart from these Ministries, Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas also served as the head of the Ministry of Health. The other ministers were reinstated.
The Bangsamoro Region was created in 2019 following the ratification of Republic Act 11054 or the Organic BARMM Act.
BARMM replaced the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The creation of the Bangsamoro region is the key element of the Bangsamoro Comprehensive Agreement, the government and MILF’s final peace agreement signed in 2014 after 17 years of negotiations. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)