The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the rest of Central Mindanao have remained solid behind President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s political and education plans for the country as a whole.
For one, the MILF even approved of the government’s strategy to use part of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) debt settlement for free education of students in public and state run colleges and universities, as it was also greeted with jubilation by some poor but deserving students in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces.
“We trust so much President Duterte as we could see and feel his persistence and determination to uplift the lives of the Bangsamoro people through the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) into law,” Ghazali Jaafar, MILF vice chair for political affairs, said.
The BBL, which would be tackled by Congress after the culmination of their recess later this month, intends to replace and expand the coverage area of the old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) set up.
The MILF is targeting to gather some 500,000 to one million people for the Bangsamoro Assembly on Nov. 26 – 27 at the old capitol grounds in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, with President Duterte as special guest of honor.
“This is to show how solid we are behind him right now,” Jaafar stressed.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Anwar Upahm, director of the ARMM’s Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance and Synergy, sees nothing wrong with the reported decrease in the latest President’s popularity rating survey conducted last September as he remains loved much by Mindanaons.
“Do not mind the surveys Mr. President because you always get the job done,” Upahm remarked.
More so, he lauded the President’s care for the poor students who, due to poverty, opted to cease schooling and end up jobless.
ARMM-HELPS is the banner program of the regional government for more coordinated and focused interventions at the local level to achieve maximum impact of services. One of its objectives is to increase access to quality education in the region, particularly through scholarship programs.
For Sultan Kudarat Governor Pax Mangudadatu, utilizing the PAL tax debt payment for free education is a “very much welcome development” for everybody.