Wednesday, August 3, 2011

After 22 years, ARMM needed Muslim reformist

Moro CSOs belonging to the Maradeka and PAAC in action
Manila Muslim civil society groups and the Muslim community joined hands in observing August 1, 2011 as the 22 years existence of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) since its creation by the passage of Organic Act 6734 in Aug. 1, 1989. This remembrance come with people's dissent after past governments waywardly failing to deliver people expectation in 22 years. 

As this date coincide with 1st day of Holy Month of Ramadhan, Maradeka, pro-democracy Muslim alliance advocating peace, Moro self-determination, and good governance and the anti-corruption group, People’s Action Against Corruption (PAAC), responded with message to make this religious observance of fasting, or cleansing of personal sins and spiritual renewal as another way of cleansing too societal sins and political wrongdoings,

The Maradeka in a turnaround makes an affirmative action to support the president after affirming in his SONA "Totoo po: Personal talaga sa akin ang paggawa ng tama, at ang pagpapanagot sa mga gumagawa ng mali in gesture to critics that he’s getting personal in going after crooks allied to former president Arroyo. “Muslims too make it personal to support the president for as long as he looks for the welfare of the Muslim constituents in the ARMM.” 

This is timely as the call of the Pres. Aquino III to pursue ARMM postponement to bring about atmosphere conducive for peacebuilding and a window of opportunity for reforms in 21 months. The Muslim civil society groups resoundingly stood to be behind leaders whose policy of governance will look up to the welfare of Muslims in the country and put away without qualms the Bangsamoro people from the ravages of war.

If the president will find the good wisdom to get his reform plans in ARMM, they must look for non-politicians and no-nonsense Muslim official cum administrator with peace and development expertise. 

"The Muslim CSOs has seen these criteria with the Muslim reformist, Usec. Dimas Pundato, who also helped the late Pres. Cory Aquino, mother of the Pres. Aquino III in support for her return of Philippine democracy after toppling the Marcos dictatorial regime," as explained by Nash Pangadapun, Secretary-General of Maradeka. He added, "Enough of the local traditional politicians because they’ll be understandably not focused to deliver reforms in 21 months but certainly will be pre-occupied preparing for the 2013 elections."

During the remembrance of the 22 years of the first Organic Act 6734, the Muslim civil society groups, anti-corruption groups and the Manila Muslim community staged their symbolic public burning of effigies in front of the Manila golden Mosque in Globo de Oro, Quiapo, Manila. This effigies represented the societal sins, graft and corruption, massive poll cheating, dominance of the traditional politicians and transactional politics, extra-judicial killing and right abuses that had engulfed the ARMM for miserable 22 years.

This is lamentable that for so long as there will be no reforms that can be instituted and the right person can selected to carry on these reform agenda, the rotten political system cannot possibly democratically elect genuine leaders and legislators and perpetually frustrate our people’s expectation for Islamic reforms.

In the run up to choosing the ARMM Officers in Charge, the Muslim alliance wanted the selection process opened up for public scrutiny all aspirants to look into their credentials and their vision for good governance in ARMM. It is also batting for the ARMM Screening Committee (ASC) to admit representative from the NGO, civil society or Muslim religious groups. As this developed, it is endorsing the person of Aleem Said Acmad Basher, president of Imam Council of the Philippines to ably represent the Muslim non-governmental sector. 

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