ELECTIONS 2022: Leni Robredo now backed by MILF-UBJP

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Presidential candidate Leni Robredo (center) earns the support of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-United Bangsamoro Justice Party (MILF-UBJP). Source: VP Leni Media Bureau
Presidential candidate Leni Robredo (center) earns the support of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-United Bangsamoro Justice Party (MILF-UBJP). Source: VP Leni Media Bureau

In what some social media users have described as an act of unity, the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) officially announced their support on Saturday for presidential aspirant Leni Robredo in the upcoming 2022 national elections.

UBJP is the political arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a revolutionary group forwarding the right to self-determination of Moros in Mindanao.

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) chief minister Murad Ebrahim is optimistic about the peace process between the region and the Philippine government under a Robredo presidency, especially with her support in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“We know that she was among those, with the late president Noynoy Aquino, who worked hard in implementing, trying to craft… this agreement, which finally created the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” he said. “There are only some incidents…at the last part of the administration of the late Noynoy Aquino that prevented the establishment of the BARMM.”

“So we look forward with the Vice President to be our next president in order to achieve the continuity we need in order to achieve the continuity we need for the implementation of the peace process,” Ebrahim said.

Robredo has long supported the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), carrying over the advocacy of her late husband Jesse. Even if the BBL was not ratified, she continued her support by vouching for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which was enacted on July 26, 2018.

During her term as a congresswoman in the 16th Congress, Robredo also issued a resolution commending the peace panels of the government and MILF, who both signed a comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro.

She reaffirmed this support in a meeting with BARMM officials in Cotabato City on March 17.

Ako po, we are one with you. Ito ‘yung sinasabi ko na (For me, we are one with you. This is what we’ve been saying), you know, it is very easy to commit, pero (but) I think the difference is, the mere fact that we were with you in the struggle from day one, makes all the difference,” said Robredo.

Kaisa ‘nyo po kami. Kaisa ‘nyo kami sa paghangad na makamtan…hindi lang ‘yung peace na inaasam, pero ‘yung justice, ‘yung justice na matagal nang kinakailangang makamtan (We are one with you. We are one with you in this ambition, not just peace, but justice, the type of justice that we have all longed for),” she added. “Because I do believe that it is only when justice is served na peace (that peace) will prevail.”

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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