‘Congress to extend Bangsamoro transition’

Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Congress is expected to extend the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) for three years, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) chief minister Ahod Ebrahim assured his constituents.

In his first State of the Bangsamoro Address on Tuesday, Ebrahim said he was confident about the extension, reiterating that the transition period was never about power but the assurance on the successful implementation of the Bangsamoro peace process.

The BTA is the interim governing body of the BARMM, which replaced the ARMM in 2019 when the Bangsamoro Organic Law was ratified. The move was intended to “bring peace” by addressing the grievances, sentiments and demands of Muslims in the region.

“We must do everything for the sake of the Bangsamoro and submit to the will and plan of Allah,” Ebrahim said in a post on Facebook.

Malacañang had earlier given assurance that President Duterte supports the bid to extend the transition period for the Bangsamoro government, but Congress should pass the needed laws.

Congress should approve the postponement of the first regular election in BARMM next year to 2025.

The Bangsamoro government said the Senate started deliberations on the proposal on May 26.

The House of Representatives had conducted committe hearings and is “just waiting for the certification from the President.”

“They can ask the committee to continue the deliberation even during the sine die,” Bangsamoro spokesman Naguib Sinarimbo said.

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