Bangsamoro government sees passage of election law this year — Galvez

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Bangsamoro government sees passage of election law this year â Galvez
In this March 2019 file photo, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority holds its first session in Cotabato City.
The Star / John Unson

MANILA, Philippines — Officials of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) are optimistic that they would be able to pass their election law within the year as part of the preparations for the 2025 polls, President Ferindand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr' peace adviser said Wednesday.

Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr. said Marcos called for the passage of laws on the Bangsamoro region's elections, local government, revenue and indigenous peoples during the recent oath-taking of the BTA members. The BTA comprises the autonomous region's parliament.

"The four codes are important, especially with the instruction of our president, we have to prepare for the 2025 election," Galvez said at a Palace press briefing.

"What we are asking from the (Bangsamoro region) chief minister and the BTA members is for them (laws) to be completed as soon as possible, especially the election code," he added, saying the regional government sees passage of the law before 2023.

Galvez said a draft Bangsamoro electoral code is now being vetted.

"They (BTA) are very confident that they will pass the codes in due time," the peace adviser said.

"They already have the commitment. Considering what our president said, we have to prepare for 2025 and (in) the press statement of [Ahod Ebrahim], the chief minister, he said that they are very confident that they will pass the election code before the end of 2022 in order for us to prepare for 2023 and 2024. Meaning, they will prioritize the election code to give way to the preparation with the Comelec (Commission on Elections)," he added.

The BTA, the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), is tasked to come up with laws to operationalize the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and to exercise legislative and executive powers during the region's transition period. 

Members of the 80-member governing body took their oath before Marcos last Friday. The BOL is an outcome of the peace agreement signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.

The BARMM and the BTA were formed after the BOL was ratified through a plebiscite in 2019. In 2021, then President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law postponing the BARMM election that was scheduled for this year, extending the BTA transition period to 2025.

The elections in the region were postponed to give the BTA more time to complete its work.




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