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Naming OICs in Maguindanao provinces 'decisive move' to ensure peace, stability —DND, OPAPRU

The appointment of officers-in-charge in Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur was part of the Marcos administration's commitment of ensuring stability in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), according to ranking government officials. 

Defense Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and acting Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Isidro Purisima welcomed the latest appointments, noting that these would "move forward and sustain the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process."

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has appointed Abdulraof A. Macacua and Bai Mariam S. Mangudadatu as OICs of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur, respectively.

"This latest development is part of the President's commitment not to waver in delivering his commitments to the Bangsamoro peace agreements. It is a decisive move to ensure stability and peace in the provinces of Maguindanao, and to the BARMM as a whole," Galvez and Purisima said in a joint statement.

"The Chief Executive has no other purpose in mind other than to ensure that the people of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur will continue to reap the dividends of genuine peace and sustainable economic development," he added.

The two officials expressed confidence on Macacua, saying that his designation is a testament of Marcos' trust and confidence in the latter’s capacity "to handle the reins of governance in Maguindanao del Norte, and most importantly, lead the people of the province at this crucial time."

"We have no doubt that Macacua, who has demonstrated utmost skill, competence and leadership during his term as a former Member of Parliament and Senior Minister, will be able to effectively carry out his mandate as acting governor, and bring greater political stability and economic development to the province," they said.

Galvez and Purisima said Macacua's experience as a civil servant and a senior Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) member would be instrumental in promoting the culture of peace across the province.

Meanwhile, the two officials also urged the public to respect Marcos' decision in appointing the officers-in-charge.

"Let us all unite, work hand in hand and support the officials of Maguindanao," they said.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a bill seeking to divide Maguindanao, which is part of BARMM, into two provinces.

Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur will have corporate powers and general powers that include having a common seal and having the power to create its sources of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, and charges among others. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA Integrated News