VP Leni clinches MILF, political party endorsement

April 23, 2022

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) and its political party, the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), formally endorsed the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday, April 23, her 57th birthday.

The 2022 elections are the first national and local elections for the MILF following passage of Republic Act No. 11054, also known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

In choosing Robredo, the lone female presidential candidate, to be their next President, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister and MILF chairman, Al-Hadj Murad Ebrahim emphasized her unwavering support for the Bangsamoro people.

“At certain points, when we needed allies in Congress, and as Vice President of the Philippines, Leni Robredo was there for us. She was there for Marawi. She makes time for the Bangsamoro. And in the many engagements with her, on specific concerns of the Bangsamoro, we feel her compassion and support. Leni Robredo is not just a [talk]; she acts,” said Ebrahim, who is also president of the UBJP.

Ebrahim and UBJP candidates in the local elections – Maguindanao 1st District Representative Datu Roonie Sinsuat, Sr. Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael Mangundadatu, and former Maguindanao 1st District Representative Bai Sandra Ampatuan-Sema – raised the hands of Robredo onstage at the MILF headquarters in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao.

“Napakalaking birthday gift po ito para sa akin, maraming maraming salamat,” Robredo said, her smile evident behind her pink face mask.  

Robredo, who was a co-author in Congress of the first version of the BOL, then known as the Bangsamoro Basic Law, pledged to continue working for peace in Mindanao.

“What I can assure the Bangsamoro people is that a Robredo Presidency will be a friend and supporter of the Bangsamoro and a champion of the peace process. My track record as Vice President is my assurance that I will fulfill my commitments. My friendship and support to the Bangsamoro people have been consistent in the six years that I was Vice President,” Robredo said.

Robredo has frequently visited BARMM as the second highest official of the country, with the numerous programs the Office of the Vice President (OVP) implemented in the region’s different provinces – from Lanao del Sur to Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

The OVP projects included poverty alleviation programs, sustainable livelihood and training programs, programs on education, health, and social development, among others.

“Bawat sakuna na nangyayari nandito po ang Office of the Vice President. Noong nangyari ‘yung Marawi siege, in the middle of the siege, nandito na po kami, sa Lanao del Sur, tumutulong,” she added.

Robredo also pledged to complete the implementation of the peace agreement and address the remaining gaps in the Bangsamoro transition period. [

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