MANILA—Bangsamoro region interim chief minister Murad Ebrahim welcomed the transfer of Agriculture chief Manny Piñol as the government’s “point man” in the area, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday.
Duterte said he transferred Piñol to the Mindanao Development Authority to help the Bangsamoro region.
“Wala akong point man doon na taga-roon ipinanganak, doon lumaki; a farmer, he (Piñol) became governor for a long time. I’m sure he can help the BARMM and the government to fast-track everything,” Duterte told reporters at the Malacañang Palace.
(I don’t have a point man who is from there and grew up there.)
“I am most interested na makita na ng Moro people ’yung hinihingi nila. To move faster so that you will realize the dream state that you have been asking for and fighting for,” Duterte said.
Asked if Murad is OK with Piñol’s designation, Duterte said: “Yeah.”
Murad, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, on Thursday said Piñol remains “very unpopular” to residents in Bangsamoro due to his history of filing a petition seeking to nullify the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the government and the MILF.
"Sa mga ibang tao, hindi pa rin fine pero maybe later on kung ipakita niya na talagang supportive na siya sa Bangsamoro, maybe magpapalit din ’yung image niya sa mga Bangsamoro people," Murad said.
(For other people he's still not fine but maybe later on if he shows he's really supportive to the Bangsamoro, maybe his image will change to the Bangsamoro people.)
The interim chief said he met with Duterte earlier this week to update him on the progress of the new region.