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    Message of BARMM Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal at the Endorsement of VP Leni Robredo by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and United Bangsamoro Justice Party

    Message of BARMM Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal
    at the Endorsement of VP Leni Robredo by the
    Moro Islamic Liberation Front and United Bangsamoro Justice Party
    MILF Headquarters, Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao

    [START 0:00:00]

    MOHAGHER IQBAL: [speaks in local language 0:00:00 - 0:00:06]. In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most beneficial. Let me begin by extending my warmest greetings of peace to the lady of the hour, Vice President Leni Robredo, whose natal day also happens to be today. My highest respect also to Ma'am Leni's party, including Davao Del Norte Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez, Governor Edwin Jubahib, and I also understand that Governor Ben Evardone is also coming. Senator Bam Aquino– I am calling him Senator Bam Aquino because for me is he is still a senator– as well as to my colleagues in the United Bangsamoro Justice Party, headed by UBJP President Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, the incumbent local chief executives, UBJP local candidates, and everyone who took the time to join us today in the midst of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. Magandang umaga po sa ating lahat.

    For those of you who know me, you may be well aware that I am careful with my life choices and I always choose my words carefully. Perhaps it is something harnessed through time as a negotiator. Similarly, the United Bangsamoro Justice Party as a genuinely principled political party, also took its time in studying the personalities, plans, and platforms of actions of the different presidential hopefuls in the upcoming 2022 national elections.

    We took particular interest in the style and temperament of the candidates on Bangsamoro issues and concerns. This is important because the historical injustices in the Bangsamoro context could easily be overlooked in the Philippine narrative, and truly, not every Filipino understands the root causes of conflict in our region.

    We are fortunate to have had presidents who are and were friendly to the Bangsamoro during their terms of office. Without their strong political will and follow-through to their campaign commitments, it is hard to imagine where the Bangsamoro peace process would be at today.

    Words and promises indeed are a politician's powerful weapon. In the case of the 10 presidential candidates for 2022, we appreciate hearing the words and promises from two candidates about their hopes and dreams for the Bangsamoro. To this day, the Bangsamoro struggle continues as we partake in the political exercise of elections, governance, and institution building.

    Still, we do not lose sight of the end goal, which is to achieve genuine and lasting peace and development in the region and in the Philippines as a whole.

    Be it recalled that on March 17, 2022, I [clean? 04:43 ] some time on the floor as member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament to deliver a privileged speech. There, I explained how important the next administration is going to be for the Bangsamoro people. I emphasized that collectively, the Bangsamoro people should recognize the value of choosing a worthy candidate for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines, a candidate who will preserve the Bangsamoro cause.

    This brings back to memories when I was at the peak of the revolutionary struggle. I found myself dealing with three kinds of people. First, those who are sincerely with you. Second, those who are against you. And third, those who are in between the two. Of course, the most difficult personality is to deal with is the third one.

    But in a presidential election, that only gives the voters 86 days within which to arrive at an informed decision as to who to vote on May 9, 2022. The safest bet would be to go for the first kind of people, those who are sincere with you. And I am so sure, Madam Leni Robredo is the one that I'm [inaudible 0:06:17].

    As I have said before, we are looking for a candidate that is a friend of the Bangsamoro. Such friendship and sincerity is sealed by [overacts? 06:31 ] since then and up to now. As a person, she never let us down. Not once, she let us feel that we are less a person as a Bangsa.

    As a group, we will treasure what you have shown to us because those who stick by our side during our hard times, deserves to be with us during our best times. Indeed, according to Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph in Islam, "A friend cannot be considered a friend until he is tested in three occasions– in times of need, behind your back, and after your death."

    Without meaning to steal the thunder of this event, I'm happy to note that Vice President Leni Robredo belongs to the first kind of people. She, truly and sincerely, is not only a friend but also one with the Bangsamoro people.

    It is for this purpose that we gather here today for the declaration of support of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party for the candidacy of Leni Robredo for President. These are exciting times, and I am proud to belong to the UBJP as it cements its support to Leni Robredo, the one and only presidential candidate whose values, principles, and character align with those we uphold as a regional political party.

    Finally, I express my thanks and gratitude to everyone, especially Madam Leni Robredo and party. And I welcome you, everyone and everybody in this occasion, maraming salamat po, [speaks in local language 0:08:38 - 0:08:40].

    [END 00:08:59]


    Posted in Transcripts on Apr 23, 2022