Robredo Gets Birthday Approval From Top BARMMs, MILF Party Leaders

Acting BARMM Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim says Vice President Leni Robredo and the United Bangsamoro Justice Party, which he chairs, are ‘extremely compatible’ in terms of values ​​and principles

MANILA, Philippines – Two weeks before the May 9 elections, presidential candidate and vice-president Leni Robredo struck two coveted alliances in the Bangsamoro region: the endorsement of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) – the political wing of the Front Islamic Liberation Moro (MILF) – and its candidate for governor of Maguindanao, 2nd District Representative Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.

It’s a nice birthday present for the only presidential candidate, who visited the MILF headquarters at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao, on Saturday April 23 – the day she turned 57 years. She will return to Metro Manila in the early afternoon to attend her big rally in Pasay City.

Robredo’s hand was lifted by none other than MILF President and Acting Bangsamoro Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, who chairs the UJBP, and Mangudadatu.

In his speech, the BARMM leader said that Robredo and UJBP are “extremely compatible” in terms of values ​​and principles compared to the Bangsamoro.

By enlisting the support of the influential Mangudadatu clan member and the leaders of the transitional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Robredo deals another blow to the presidential bet of the mayor of Manila Isko Moreno .

The lawmaker previously endorsed Moreno for president and voiced support for the Manila mayor’s Aksyon Demokratiko party.

Now Mangudadatu has jumped ship for Robredo, who has been able to organize gigantic rallies attended by tens of thousands of his supporters, even in the bailiwicks of his political enemies.

Besides Robredo, Moreno also actively sought approval from MILF and BARMM officials. Moreno was even ahead of Robredo in arranging a meeting with Murad to discuss plans on how to keep the peace in the Bangsamoro.

Manila’s mayor has stepped up attacks on Robredo since his group of volunteers IM Pilipinas defected to the vice president in mid-March.

The Moros remember

That BARMM officials finally approved Robredo is no surprise. While the gap between the numbers is still huge, major pre-election polls still point to Robredo as the candidate with the best chance of defeating the frontrunner, the late dictator’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

BARMM leaders would certainly not lend their support to the Marcos, the family whose hands are stained with the blood of their Moro ancestors who were brutally massacred under the dictator’s regime.

In the 2016 vice-presidential ballot which saw her take on Marcos Jr., Robredo won the Moro vote in the now defunct ARMM. Moros gave him 566,455 votes while Marcos only got 331,762 votes.

The MILF leaders also remember what Robredo has done for the Moro people in recent years.

As a former congresswoman from Camarines Sur’s 3rd District, Robredo was among the lawmakers who actively lobbied for the passage of the Bangsamoro bill. When Robredo became Vice President, much of her Angat Buhay anti-poverty programs also benefited BARMM.

This did not escape the direction of the MILF. At their March 16 meeting, Murad told Robredo that the Bangsamoro needed “like-minded leaders” to continue the peace process.

With Mangudadatu and the MILF now behind her, along with the machinery of her longtime ally and representative Basilan Mujiv Hataman, Robredo has a better chance of repeating his victory in the Bangsamoro.

But that wouldn’t be easy, as Marcos has already secured four of the five Bangsamoro governors: Abdusakur “Sakur” Mahail Tan from Sulu, Yshmael “Mang” Sali from Tawi-Tawi, Mariam Mangudadatu from Maguindanao and Mamintal “Bombit”. Alonto Adiong Jr. of Lanao del Sur.

The only BARMM governor to back Robredo for this election is Basilan Governor Hadjiman Hataman-Salliman, Mujiv’s brother. – Rappler.com

Joseph K. Bennett