THE Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) marks its 27th founding anniversary with a month-long celebration that kicked-off Saturday, November 19, highlighting the history and struggle of the Moro people in the region.
Governor Mujiv Hataman noted that the 27 long years of ARMM could not be attributed to the efforts of the regional government in leading its constituents, but to the people in the ARMM who manifest the success of the region.
“Ang araw na ito ay hindi lamang pagdiriwang ng ating anibersaryo, kung hindi pag-alala rin sa ating kasaysayan sa loob ng 27 taon,” Hataman said.
The anniversary celebration officially opened on Saturday in Cotabato City, where the regional seat of government is based.
The celebration started with a "dulang" and a cultural parade and dances with the participants in their ethnic attires.
"Pakaradjaan sa ARMM" has been the official branding title of the ARMM anniversary since 2013.
Since then, the commemoration of the region’s founding has become a colorful and festive celebration of the culture and triumph of the Filipino Muslims.
Hataman said the activities prepared for this year’s anniversary are a celebration of the region’s people, their diversity in culture and the success of the autonomous government.
“Ating ipagdiriwang ang ating mga tagumpay dahil ito ay tagumpay ng ating mga kababayan,” Hataman said.
In light of the sudden burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos on Friday, November 18, Hataman, during his speech, took the time to ask for a minute of silence to show solidarity with the victims of Martial Law.
Hataman said that history will not be forgotten.
“Tayong lahat ay parte ng kasaysayan, at tagumpay ito ng ang ating mga kababayan,” Hataman said.
Major General Carlito Galvez, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division command, the keynote speaker, inspired the regional government to continue its reforms.
Galvez said the Hataman administration has significantly transformed the ARMM from war-torn lands to a world-class region.
He specifically noted that President Rodrigo Duterte, during his visit, was surprised with the regional government’s top-of-the-line facilities and had only good impressions of ARMM employees.
Through Galvez, the Philippine Armed Forces reinforced its commitment in support of the reforms in the region especially in terms of the security challenges in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
During the program, Hataman led the distribution of 13 units of non-motorized bancas to fisherfolk from Maguindanao; 14 passports processed for free, and Moro film festival citations.
Sheron Dayoc, director of Moro independent films "Halaw," "Crescent Rising," and "Women of Weeping River," and the films’ actors were given citations during the opening program.
The films were shown during last week's Moro film festival.
Hataman also forwarded a message of unity and called for solidarity in the midst of societal challenges and issues that continue to divide the Filipino people.