Lidasan: Unsolicited advice for UBJP


THE Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm), which was created five years ago, is facing challenges and political choke points with the traditional families and politicians as reflected in the recent Barangay and SK Elections last October 2023.

Reports of election-related violence have happened in some areas of the region.

The current situation in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) presents a test case of regional politics, particularly related to political clashes and election-related violence. The region has historically been governed by clan rule, which has both supported the Bangsamoro people during the early start of building the Philippine republic and the start of the Moro rebellion.

The United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), a political party in the Barmm was established on May 8, 2015. It was founded by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and is known for advocating for Islamic democracy and exercise of right to self determination of the Bangsamoro people. The party is based in the municipality of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte.

In order to maintain stability and progress towards reforms, the UBJP must find common ground and form alliances with influential political families, while also taking steps to limit the power of elite clans and address clan feuds or “Rido”.

The UBJP should reach out to progressive clan leaders and identify potential allies among them. Cooperation with the clans on certain structural changes, such as conflict resolution mechanisms, can help build trust and facilitate broader reforms. It is important to strike a balance between competing clan interests while maintaining security in the region.

Antagonizing political families could undermine the cohesion of the Bangsamoro and potentially lead to more violence. Working with the clans, even in a limited capacity, can be a strategic gain for the transitional Bangsamoro government. Strengthening institutions and raising the costs associated with clannish behavior and clan warfare should be a priority.

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority should consider the role and influence of local clans while focusing on improving governance and utilizing existing dispute-resolution mechanisms.

Additionally, addressing the disbandment of private armies parallel to the decommissioning efforts of the MILF is vital to ensuring long-term peace and stability in the region.

Overall, my piece of advice is for the UBJP is to manage political clans and form alliances with

influential families, while simultaneously working towards structural changes and reducing the influence of elite clans, will be crucial for the UBJP and the Bangsamoro region as a whole.


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