FIVE governors of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) convened in Cagayan de Oro as they launch the BARMM Governor's Caucus (BGC) Tuesday, June 6, 2023, to strengthen joint efforts in promoting rule of law, peace and order, and inclusive governance and development.

According to Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr, who hosted the launch, the BGC is a platform to promote the common issued of the constituents of the local government units of BARMM as well as to engage other stakeholders in dialogue on these issues.

Apart from Adiong, the caucus consisted of Maguindanao del Sur Governor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, Basilan Governor Hadjiman Hataman-Salliman, and Tawi-Tawi Governor Yshmael Sali.

"Ang pagtitipon natin sa araw na ito ay hudyat ng pagpapakita ng ganap na tiwala na ang seguridad, hustisya, at pagsasama ay tiyak na mahalaga upang patuloy na mapaptupad ang programang magpapaunlad hindi lamang sa ating mga lalawigan, kundi sa buong rehiyon," Adiong said.

The highlight of the launch, he added, is the unveiling of the manifesto of the BARMM Governor's Caucus on the priority issues that they believe are essential keys to promote stability and development in their community.

Among the issues identified as critical and needing immediate action, as stated in the manifesto, are the security challenges in the region that are not sufficiently addressed due to unclear and overlapping mandates and law enforcement agencies and the peace mechanisms.

To address such issues, the Caucus will engage with the national and regional governments and the peace mechanisms to improve coordination and inter-operability in law enforcement in their communities.

The BGC also called for inclusive governance and development in BARMM to address feelings of marginalization among its citizens, which trigger rebellion and violent extremism.

"These are the issues identified on the series of consultation with our constituents. All our actions will be guided by this manifesto which is the people's mandate to us," Adiong said.

"It is now time for us to unite and strengthen our cooperation for the greater good of our people in the region," he added.