PARANG, Maguindanao – The accomplishments of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration in the past five years have been “more than excellent,” with the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao being its highlight, a BARMM official said.
“(President Duterte’s) best legacy is much felt by the Bangsamoro people,” BARMM Assistant Senior Minister Abdullah Cusain said in a phone interview with local reporters on Friday.
Cusain led BARMM officials during the launch of “The Duterte Legacy: Barangayanihan Caravan towards National Recovery” at the police regional office here on Thursday.
The Duterte Legacy Campaign was simultaneously held across the country on the same day.
Its launch here was organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Police Regional Office – BARMM, and other government agencies.
During the program, the projects, programs, and accomplishments of Duterte in the Bangsamoro region were among those highlighted.
Cusain said the establishment of the BARMM “is the best legacy that the President has given to the Bangsamoro people and to the people of Mindanao.”
Legacy after five years
In his video message shown to the participants at the camp, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar underscored that since Duterte assumed leadership in 2016, a chain of positive changes propelled the country through his “Tapang at Malasakit” agenda against corruption, criminality, and societal ills while “ensuring economic prosperity, social services, and upholding of human rights aspect of governance.”
Andanar highlighted the continuing success of several projects of the current administration, such as the “Dutertenomics”, the 10-point socioeconomic agenda, the “Build, Build, Build” program, the Kalinga at Malasakit para sa mga overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), anti-illegal drugs campaign, and the anti-insurgency and counter-terrorism campaign.
He said amid the pandemic, the country has managed to maintain its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and achieve a 6 percent growth in the economy.
Andanar also mentioned the implementation of the Universal Health Care, the free tuition for higher education, and the Alternative Learning System programs, as well as the institutionalization of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
“As we are in the tail end of our governance, may you continue to support us and the Duterte administration in fulfilling our promises of bringing closer to the Filipino people and providing a comfortable life for all. Embrace it (legacy), make use of it, and build on it,” he said.
Unhampered pursuit of autonomy
In his virtual message, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, a native of this town and the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for BARMM, affirmed that significant changes have happened in the region since the Bangsamoro Organic Law was ratified and implemented in 2019.
“Naysayers believed that BARMM’S autonomy would remain just a dream and an empty campaign promise. But (former) Mayor Duterte, a son of Mindanao, proved them wrong by bringing to fruition the aspirations of our Bangsamoro brothers and sisters,” Lorenzana said.
He vowed that his office and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will continue to maintain the region’s security for its unhampered pursuit of autonomy, self-determination, and development.
BARMM program recipients
Recipients of BARMM programs, through its various offices, were also presented during Thursday’s activity.
Former Moro rebel, Hadji Alimudin Malang, said during the gathering he was thankful to the national government for granting autonomy and governance to the Bangsamoro people.
“I want to thank President Duterte for he served as the bridge in the establishment of the Bangsamoro region. I pledge my all-out support to the government,” Malang said in the vernacular.
The program here was also highlighted by the distribution of 200 sacks of rice, food packs, and medicines for the poor, and free calls for OFWs. (PNA)