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PRRD leads BARRM inauguration

COTABATO CITY, March 29, 2019 – With a bang of a gong, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday officially inaugurated the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) inside the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex.

The BARMM is an offshoot of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) last February that the President himself campaigned for.

“May I just express in front of you my extreme happiness. It gives me the high that we were able to realize at least a part of what the entire country have wished for the Bangsamoro in Mindanao,” Duterte said referring to the Bangsamoro government at the ceremony.

The President’s statement generated thunderous applause from the audience inside the theater-like complex.

Duterte said he trusts the leaders of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government, to work for the “succeeding generations of the Filipinos especially the Moros in Mindanao.”

“As we enter the transition period, I ask everyone to work towards building lasting peace and inclusive progress that will benefit all Mindanaons and entire country,” the President said.

“As we mark a new chapter in our history I call upon all Bangsamoro to take advantage of this opportunity and finally correct the historical injustice and forget the bitterness of the past so that we embrace each other as Filipinos,” he emphasized.

Before the President ended his speech, he reiterated the promise he made during his last visit in Cotabato City during the campaign for the BOL.

“My solemn promise to you is a sacred one which I also promised to Allah. In my term and for the next three years, we will work and truly work for the benefit of the Bangsamoro,” he said.

On Friday, the members of the BTA conducted their maiden session with the election of a new set of officers of the BARMM.

The BTA elected former Lanao del Sur Congressman Ali Pangalian Balindong as the speaker of the interim parliamentary-form government, while Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Hatimil Hassan was voted as the deputy speaker.

Lanang Ali, Jr. and former executive secretary of the ARMM Laisa Masuhud Alamia were elected as majority and minority floor leader respectively.

The BTA also named Raby Angkal as secretary-general and Dan Dimakenal as sergeant-at-arms.

Al Hajj Ahod Ebrahim or better known as Murad Ebrahim, the interim chief minister, emphasized the five pillars that the BTA will work on under his leadership. These are education, health, economic development, strategic infrastructure, and moral leadership.

“We shall prioritize the approval of the transition plan that will define the organizational structure of the BARMM and gradual phasing out of the offices,” he said in his inaugural speech.

The chief minister said the ceremony marks a history for the Bangsamoro people with a “new kind of jihad–a jihad against poverty, against want, and against neglect.”

“When we started the revolution, we took an oath to the Quran. Today, as we start our governance, we will also do the same,” Ebrahim said as he led the BTA members in an oath on the holy Quran.

Ebrahim said they have been “guided in our armed struggle by the tenets of Islam. We will also be guided by the teaching of Islam in delivering the trust that has been given to us.”

“To run the Bangsamoro Government through the brand of leadership Islam advocates–that is moral governance,” he noted.

“It signifies our collective resolve to institute good governance in the Bangsamoro Region,” he said, adding that “as we start the Bangsmaoro government, we vow to make moral governance as the foundation of this leadership.”

Ebrahim said they will also continue the fight against illegal drugs.

In a statement, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said five years after the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), “the Moro and non-Moro people in the new autonomous region are now gradually enjoying the peace dividends from the said agreement.”

“At the heart of the peace agreement is the transformation process, which covers not only the establishment of the BARMM, the creation of a new political structure, and the changing of the lives of the people in the area, but also providing social justice, healing, and reconciliation,” he said.

“The Bangsamoro is now undergoing a renaissance period. A new dawn has finally emerged in the region,” he added

The Peace Adviser noted that the only way to truly bring to life the CAB is for everyone to “be on board the peace process and contribute to the success of all the signed Bangsamoro peace agreements.”###

By | March 30th, 2019|MILF, MNLF|0 Comments

Statement of Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr on the Inauguration of the Bangsamoro Parliament

Five years after the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the Moro and non-Moro people in the new autonomous region are now gradually enjoying the peace dividends from the said agreement.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) which sets the legal foundation of the CAB, had been passed and ratified by the people. As an offshoot, a new autonomous region called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is now in place, with a wider territory and with a stronger political structure reflective of the genuine sentiments of the inhabitants of the area.

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government, is now working under the leadership of the Moro revolutionary leaders and dedicated stakeholders.

On Friday, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will witness the official inauguration of the new parliamentary form of government in the Bangsamoro. Equally important, the President will also witness the official handover of the list of the MILF combatants who will be decommissioned and their weapons that will be put beyond use under the normalization track of the signed peace agreement.

Soon, the people who have felt the brunt of decades of armed conflict will be undergoing holistic transformation.

At the heart of the peace agreement is the transformation process, which covers not only the establishment of the BARMM, the creation of a new political structure, and the changing of the lives of the people in the area, but also providing social justice, healing, and reconciliation.

The Bangsamoro is now undergoing a renaissance period. A new dawn has finally emerged in the region.

As we move forward, let us not forget the martyrs in this struggle, the men and women who made this change possible. They made the ultimate sacrifice for the achievement of the milestones and developments the people in the new autonomous region will avail.

I encourage everyone to be on board the peace process and contribute to the success of all the signed Bangsamoro peace agreements. In this way we can truly bring to life  the true meaning of the CAB.###

By | March 29th, 2019|MILF, MNLF|0 Comments

Galvez to Bangsamoro communities in the Metro: “BARMM is for everyone”

QUEZON CITY, March 20, 2019 – The beauty of the newly-established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) lies in its principle of inclusiveness and goal of serving the best interests of the Moro people regardless of where they are residing in the country.


By | March 20th, 2019|MILF, MNLF, NAPWPS, News|0 Comments

BARMM women converge, craft Bangsamoro Women’s Agenda

COTABATO CITY, March 16, 2019 — Close to 400 women leaders and sectoral representatives gathered in Cotabato City on Wednesday to participate in the first Women Stakeholders’ Regional Forum and take part in the crafting of a comprehensive Women’s Development Agenda. The event was in celebration of the National Women’s Month with the theme, “We Make Change Work for Women.”

Executive Director Gloria Jumamil Mercado represented Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity Carlito G. Galvez Jr in the forum which was attended by delegates coming from the different civil society organizations, academe, municipal and barangay local government units and religious sectors in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). In her message, Executive Director Mercado underscored that the involvement of women in peace and development is one of the priority thrusts of Secretary Galvez in the OPAPRU. She also emphasized the invaluable contribution of women leaders in the peace process, particularly in the implementation of the Normalization phase and in the work to be carried out by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).

With the theme, “Bringing the Women Together: A Regional Stakeholders Forum,” the one-day forum was spearheaded by the newly-installed BARMM interim government with the hope to create safe spaces where they can speak and listen to each other in addressing key gender issues. The forum also showcased local products and cultural performances alongside workshop sessions.

Discussions during the forum centered on the best practices and lessons learned in the ARMM government, as well as recommendations on how to move forward in the new Bangsamoro government. Delegates actively participated in plenary sessions, multi-stakeholder dialogues, and planning workshops. The deliberations focused on good governance practices, peace and development concerns, provision of basic social services, emergency disaster response and multi-sectoral representation and empowerment.

The event provided the participants an avenue to articulate their views and aspirations, as well as craft policy recommendations that would be incorporated into the Bangsamoro Women’s Agenda. The said Women’s Agenda would then be submitted to the BTA for its consideration and approval.

In the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the newly-established political entity ensures the sectoral representation of the women in the 80-member Parliament. BTA Members,
Former ARMM Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Masuhud-Alamia, Bangsamoro Women Chair Hja. Bainon G. Karon, former Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Dr. Susana Anayatin, Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman, and Bai Shahara I. Mastura graced the event. Other presenters were former Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) – ARMM regional Secretary Dayang Jumaide, former Executive Director of the ARMM Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women and Sulu second district assemblywoman Irene Pungutan-Tillah and National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (NAPWPS) Secretariat Head Helen M. Rojas.

“Let us be an inspiration to all, especially to the young women of the Bangsamoro. May you wield a stronger voice against injustice, violent extremism and conflict, and continue to be the women leaders who can move the Bangsamoro and the whole nation forward,” Executive Director Mercado added.


By | March 16th, 2019|MILF, MNLF, NAPWPS, News|0 Comments

Economic experts to help in the BARMM

MAKATI CITY, March 8, 2019 – The community of finance and economics experts expressed strong support and commitment to help in the transition of the newly installed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“We look forward on working closely with the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in the next few months as we firm up FEF and Philippine Center on Islam and Democracy’s (PCID) Program of Support throughout the three-year transition period,” FEF Fellow and former Finance Secretary Gary Teves said during the Foundation for Economic Forum (FEF) Fellows Meeting held here on Wednesday.

Both organizations assembled a Core Team and met with government agencies and development partners to solicit inputs for the plan.

“From December to January, the Core Team met with fellows and expressed interest and willingness to put in time and effort to help in this endeavor,” Teves said.

In his presentation, Teves also mentioned the main areas on which they can focus their support. It is based on Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) 10 priorities in transitioning the BARMM.

These are Priorities # 2, 4, 7, and 10: Review and integrate Bangsamoro plans to make them responsive to the current needs of the region; Set up programs that will respond to the pressing social and economic challenges in the Bangsamoro; Develop policy environment on transparency, accountability, and prudent fiscal policy as well as improvement on revenue generation; and Ensure a productive partnership between the Bangsamoro Government and development partners as well as the national government to ensure complementation of programs to maximize results.

For his part, Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. called on the FEF and PCID to share their expertise and valuable recommendation for the smooth transition of the BARMM.

“I would therefore like to call on all of you who are here today to help the BTA in its challenging task of transforming the BARMM into a showcase of peace and development in Mindanao and across the country,” he said.

“You know what needs to be done in order to create a more conducive business climate in the region. Moreover, you have the influence that can turn plans into reality,” he added.

As the interim government of the BARMM, the BTA will exercise governance for three years coinciding with the President’s remaining three years in office.

During this transition period, the BTA will exercise both executive and legislative powers. It is expected to prepare and create the necessary institutions and mechanisms for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Government.

Members of the transition authority took their oath of office on February 22, 2019. On March 4, 2019, BTA Chairman Murad Ebrahim presided over the first flag-raising ceremony of the interim government.

The Fellows Meeting on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was organized by FEF in partnership with PCID. Its objective is to facilitate discussion and share insights and updates on BARMM.

Present during the meeting are PCID President Amina Rasul, FEF President Calixto Chikiamco, former World Bank Resident Representative in Manila Thomas Allen, former Prime Minister of the Philippines Cesar E.A.Virata, former National Economic, and Development Authority Director-General Romulo Neri.

Also in attendance were members of the diplomatic corps and international donor agencies, Embassy of Japan Deputy Chief of Mission Takehiro Kano, Embassy of Hungary Deputy Chief of Mission David Ambrus, Embassy of Thailand Counselor Rathanand Vichaidit, and Tatine Faylona, Conflict and Community Resilience Expert of the British Council Philippines.

Business sector representatives were also present, such as the president of Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines Ernie Ordoñez, and former Chief Executive Office of Manila Water Chito Oreta. ###


By | March 7th, 2019|MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

Full implementation of the MILF Normalization Process underway

PASIG CITY, March 8, 2019 — The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are working on the formulation of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the proposed Executive Order on the Normalization Track under the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said both sides are working double time to ensure the successful implementation of the programs under the Normalization Track of the peace agreement.

The CAB, which was signed between the government and the MILF, has two tracks, namely the Political Track that covers the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the Normalization process, which includes the decommissioning of MILF combatants and their weapons and the transformation of several camps into productive and resilient communities.

The EO will provide the necessary framework for the implementation of the Normalization Track to include the creation of an inter-cabinet mechanism responsible for coordinating and mobilizing government agencies, generating resource, and providing policy and legal advice.

Galvez said the IRR of the EO will be finalized “within next month.”

He also said the IRR will spell out the key components for the implementation process of the EO on the normalization track of the peace agreement.

“The IRR will contain the work plan, Gantt chart, and other activities covering the three-year period. It will also cover critical timeline, the scope of work, and all the programs for the security, socio-economic programs, and transitional justice,” he told reporters at the sideline of the signing of projects between the Government of Japan and its implementing partners from the United Nations at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process on Tuesday.

Galvez said the Normalization process has four major components: the security aspect, socio-economic development program, confidence-building measures, and transitional justice and reconciliation.

Right at the heart of the security component is the decommissioning of the MILF combatants and their weapons and the disbandment of private armed groups.

“The MILF forces will be decommissioned in four phases. The ceremonial decommissioning of 145 combatants was completed in 2015. Thirty percent, or more or less 12,000 combatants, will be scheduled late this year 2019. Another 35 percent will be decommissioned next year in 2020, while the remaining will be done in 2021-2022 before the signing of the exit agreements,” the chief peace adviser explained.

Several transitional bodies will also be created under the security components. These are the Joint Normalization Committee, Joint Peace and Security Committee, and Joint Peace and Security Teams.

There will be redeployment of government security forces in the Bangsamoro areas. Clearing of unexploded ordnance and landmines will also be undertaken.

In parallel, private armed groups will be disbanded through the reactivation of the National Task Force for the Disbandment of the Private Armed Groups.

Another component is the implementation of the socio-economic development program for the combatants and internally-displaced persons. Rehabilitation of areas that have been affected by the armed conflict will also be addressed.

Galvez said the socio-economic development program “will be supervised by OPAPP through the inter-cabinet cluster mechanisms on the transformation of combatants and camps into peace-loving individuals and productive, sustainable villages and communities, respectively.”

Aside from the security and socio-economic aspects, there will be a Transitional Justice and Reconciliation program to address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people. This is to promote social healing, reconciliation and cultural harmony in the Bangsamoro, and to resolve land disposition issues and boundaries.


By | March 7th, 2019|MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

BARMM residents to benefit from Japan, UN projects

PASIG CITY, March 7, 2019 — Residents of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will have greater access to safe and reliable water supply as well as acquire new knowledge and skills on food production and security through new projects signed here on Wednesday.

The “Project for Agricultural Training for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao” and the “Project for the Improvement of Water Supply Equipment Management Capacity for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao” were signed by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative Jose Luis Fernandez, and International Labor Organization Country Director Khalid Hassan with Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. as witness.

In his message during the event, Galvez lauded the international peace partners for their continuing support for the peace process.

“We are honored and extremely grateful for our international peace partners’ unwavering commitment and continuing support in our quest for peace and development in Mindanao. With these projects, we are confident that the farmers and fisherfolks will be equipped with the necessary skills that will enable them to obtain sustainable sources of livelihood,” he said.

The projects will be implemented by the ILO and FAO and will be funded by the Government of Japan with US$2.6 million (P135.8 million) and US$1.7 million (P88.8 million), respectively.

The FAO will be providing the locals with vocational skills training, including hands-on activities and demonstrations on crop production, integrated pest management, and harvest and post-harvest processes.

“I would like to reiterate the Government of Japan and FAO’s commitment to supporting the Government of the Philippines in ensuring sustainable and profitable agriculture that will translate to a better quality of life of Mindanaoans,” Fernandez said.

Meanwhile, the ILO will spearhead the community-based water supply development wherein the communities will be involved in developing, constructing, operating, and maintaining water supply, sanitation, and hygiene facilities.

Hassan emphasized the ILO’s strengthened vision for social justice and promotion of decent work as the organization marks its 100th anniversary.

“This project will therefore be one of the centerpieces for ILO’s Centenary as interventions in the Bangsamoro areas are meant to create jobs while advocating the Decent Work Agenda,”  Hassan said.

For his part, Ambassador Haneda expressed his optimism for the two projects.

“I look forward to seeing more households in the Bangsamoro region with better access to potable water, averting vulnerabilities to water-borne diseases caused by unsafe sources,” Ambassador Haneda said.

The ambassador also said the skills training to be organized by the FAO will help the farmers, fishermen, and decommissioned combatants acquire up-to-date agricultural knowledge that they can use to gain stable employment or set up their own business.

The Japanese Government has played a significant role in the Bangsamoro peace process in various capacities through its involvement in peace mechanisms and development programs.

Recently, Japan pledged US$2.3 million (P120 million) for the security aspect of the Normalization program for the Bangsamoro. It also committed a US$200 million (P10.4 billion) loan for road infrastructure projects in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

By | March 6th, 2019|MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

Good governance will reign in BARMM

COTABATO CITY, FEBRUARY 27, 2019 – The leadership of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), promised to deliver good governance in the new Bangsamoro government following their assumption into office on Tuesday.

Murad Ebrahim Al Haj, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who was appointed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the interim Chief Minister of the BARMM, vowed to eradicate the culture of corruption and sustain the gains of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in recent years.

“The trust and responsibility is now in our hands,” he said as he led the 80-member BTA in the ceremonial handover event at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex inside the ARMM Compound.

“We are accountable to it,  to Allah, and our fellow Bangsamoro,” he added.

Murad summarized the main agenda of the interim government to ensure the delivery of services to the Moro and non-Moro people residing  in the BARMM.

“Our government shall take responsibility for the education of our children. Our government shall take responsibility for the health of our constituents. Our government shall take responsibility for the economic development of our region. Our government shall take responsibility for the infrastructure development of our areas. I shall be responsible for leading a morally upright bureaucracy,” he said, generating thunderous applause from the audience.

The BARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi. The autonomous region’s territory has expanded to include the city of Cotabato and 63 villages in North Cotabato province following the plebiscites in these areas.

To show their sincerity, Murad announced that all BTA members will take their oath on the Holy Quran aside from the oath they took in Malacañan Palace last Friday.

Murad said the Bangsamoro people are now entering a new struggle, which is to instill the culture of good governance in the autonomous region.

“Our enemy during this struggle are not the soldiers. Our enemy is not the government. Our enemy is oppression, our enemy is exploitation, our enemies are those anti-people,” he said.

“We are now entering another level of Jihad. Our Jihad will be more intense and more challenging. Our Jihad, firstly, will be against our own self… Our enemy is graft and corruption. Our enemy is manipulation of the government. Our enemy is nepotism. Our enemy is all those ills of the government,” he added.

The establishment of the BARMM is the result of the successful ratifications of the Bangsamoro Organic Law — the legal document operationalizing the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, including all the previous peace agreements that the government has entered into with the Moro fronts.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said he is elated at bowing down from the office since he is leaving a more developed ARMM.

Marahil nga po, nasabi ko na ang halos lahat ng masasabi ukol sa nakaraang pitong taon. Ang mga tulay at kalsada; ang mas maayos na serbisyo; ang panibagong kabanata ng kapayapaan; ang mga reporma sa pamamahala—malinaw na naman siguro sa lahat ito. Iiwan natin ang rehiyon nang mas malakas, mas maunlad…” he said, having to stop speaking for a moment as he choked back tears.

(I have probably said everything that needs to be said about the past seven years. The bridges and roads; better services; a new chapter of peace; reforms in governance–presumably everything is clear to everyone. We will be leaving the region stronger, more developed…)    

ARMM’s economic growth has improved in recent years. In 2017, its gross regional domestic product had its peak in history with 12.1 percent, making it the fastest in the country. Its employment rate also surged at 97.4 percent last year.

For his part, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said he is confident the members of the BTA can fulfill their mandate since they are people with “sincerity, dedication, and commitment in pushing for the realization of the Bangsamoro aspirations.”

“As we roll our sleeves in the coming days, I know that the BTA members are ready for the challenges ahead,” he said in a speech.

Galvez urged the the BTA to “work for the common good of the Bangsamoro People.”

“From individual to organizational, let’s transcend it to societal change in our desire for peace, progress, and prosperity,” he said.

“The bottom line here is to bring good governance through clean governmental transaction. This will show our sincerity to provide the needed services that the people in the Bangsamoro truly deserve,” the chief peace adviser added.

Galvez also emphasized the significance of unity in diversity, urging the new leadership to work together as a team.

“Just like a rainbow, it is composed of different hues. Each color is uniquely beautiful and has a special purpose. It is reflective of the various tribes and beliefs that co-exist in the Bangsamoro homeland. But we can only maximize its beauty and power if we work harmoniously and collectively,” he said.

Immediately after the ceremonial handover, the new Bangsamoro government hit the ground running as Murad called for a meeting with his Cabinet to set the direction and focus of the new administration.

Another meeting was set today to identify the parliament’s priorities for the next 100 days, which include the establishment of the key legislative structures such as Electoral, Local Government, Education, Administrative, Revenue, and Civil Service Codes.

Prior to yesterday’s event, Murad met with Galvez and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chair Yusop Jikiri to discuss issues that need to be resolved to ensure a seamless transition. Among them is the status of ARMM employees.

“We agreed that there will be no retrenchment. All employees, except those who are coterminous, will be retained until the end of the year,” Galvez said.

The presidential peace adviser recalled the President’s guidance to put a premium on the welfare of the Bangsamo and all Filipino.

“We should put personal interest behind and work for the common good of the Bangsamoro people. ‘Yun po ang sinasabi ng ating mahal na Presidente, malasakit para sa mga tao, so that the wellbeing of our people will be taken care of,” he said.

During his speech at the oath-taking ceremony of the BTA last week, the President emphasized to the interim government to run the new Bangsamoro region strictly following the rule of law.

“As you lead this new region towards a brighter tomorrow, I ask you never to waver in your commitment to build an institution that is founded on the rule of law, the promotion of good governance, and the defense [of] our most cherished democratic values,” the President said.

By | February 26th, 2019|MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

Tan: “Give MILF a chance”

PASIG CITY, February 15, 2019 — “Sana pagbigyan ng tao, followers, and politicians ang Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) kasi this [Bangsamoro Organic  Law] is a chance of a lifetime,” Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser Nabil Tan appealed during an interview with a media network yesterday in this city.

(We hope that the public, followers, and politicians would give MILF a chance because Bangsamoro Organic Law is once in a lifetime)

“Implementing this agreement is like the finale. Otherwise, we will be falling into the trap of violent extremism,” Tan added.

COMELEC’s recent proclamation of the official results of the plebiscites on the BOL held on January 21 and February 6 will pave the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The BTA will be composed of 80 members who were appointed By by President Rodrigo Duterte. It will be led by a chief minister and two deputy chief ministers.

Incumbent officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) government will also be part of the interim body until their term of office ends on June 30, 2019.

With the BOL’s ratification, the ARMM is abolished and will be replaced by the BARMM which will have a Parliamentary form of government.

“Mayroong significant tasking ang BTA tulad ng important legislations na dapat mapasa. Unang-una ‘yong Bangsamoro Administrative Code, Bangsamoro Revenue Code, Bangsamoro Electoral Code, Bangsamoro Local Government Code, Bangsamoro Education Code,” Tan said.

(The BTA had its significant tasking such as important legislations that need to be passed. First is the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, Bangsamoro Revenue Code, Bangsamoro Electoral Code, Bangsamoro Local Government Code, and  Bangsamoro Education Code)

The BTA, he added, may also craft a Bangsamoro Civil Service Code but it will still be subject to the review and approval of the Civil Service Commission.

MILF in governance

When asked how ready the MILF is to handle the affairs of government, Tan said “no one is 100 percent ready”.

“However, they are ready in terms of [having the] determination to achieve good governance. Iba ‘yong sincerity nila [MILF] to govern and avoid corruption,” he added.

In line with the BTA’s operationalization, the national government is asking the help of various academic institutions such as the Development Academy of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University in mentoring the MILF on the fundamentals of governance.

The ratification of the BOL will also lead to the implementation of the Normalization track of the GPH-MILF peace agreement wherein 30 percent of all MILF combatants will be decommissioned.

“We have prepared for the socio-economical packages for the combatants and their families. We are also preparing for the whole transformation of the camps. I hope we’d have one direction that is corruption-free and effective in governance,” Tan said.

The plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL was held in the core territories of the ARMM, Cotabato City, and Isabela City in Basilan. A total of 1,737,767 votes were cast with a voter turnout of 87.80%.

On the other hand, 63 out of the 67 barangays in North Cotabato voted for their inclusion in the BARMM. ###

By | February 16th, 2019|MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

North Cotabato LGU, stakeholders support BOL

NORTH COTABATO (February 5, 2019) – “Alam po ninyo na mahal namin kayo, at dahil mahal namin kayo, we will set you free.”

(You all know that we love you, and because we love you, we will set you free.)

This was North Cotabato Board Member Atty. Roland Jungco’s message during the Multistakeholder Forum on Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) held at Southern Christian College Gymnasium, Midsayap on February 2, 2019, only four days before the conduct of the second round of plebiscite for some areas in North Cotabato and Lanao del Norte come February 6, 2019.

The forum, which was attended by residents of barangays subject for inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), was conducted in order to inform stakeholders on the salient features of the BOL and the plebiscite process.

Also in attendance were representatives of the Local Government Unit (LGU), the academe, and various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary Nabil A. Tan, Chair of the GPH Peace Implementing Panel for the GPH-MILF Peace Accords, urged his fellow Mindanaoans to support the inclusion of the areas in the BARMM. “This is the President’s commitment to peace agreements in order to bring about peace and development,” he said.

Some members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) who crafted the BOL were also present, including Commissioner Atty. Omar Sema who presented the salient features of the BOL; Commissioner Romeo C. Saliga who presented the features on respecting and commitment to rights of the Indigenous Peoples; Commissioner Atty. Raissa Jajurie who presented the provisions on fiscal autonomy; and Marites Completaño representing Commissioner Susana Anayatin who presented the provisions on Christian/Settler Communities.

In his presentation on the mechanics and processes on the conduct of the upcoming plebiscite, Midsayap, North Cotabato Election Officer Reynaldo Tubelonia said a total of 67 barangays are subject for inclusion in North Cotabato: 13 barangays from Midsayap; 12 barangays from Pigcawayan; 4 barangays from Aleosan; 7 barangays from Carmen; 7 barangays from Kabakan; 1 barangay from Tulunan; and 23 barangays from Pikit.

Provincial Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza, for her part, urged the residents to base their decisions on what is the best for the next generations.

“Ang kabataan ang magtataguyod ng ating napag-umpisahan at sila rin ang lubos na makikinabang (The youth will build on what we have started and they are the ones who will greatly benefit from it),” she said.

The forum was also attended by Southern Christian College president Dr. Edwin T. Balaki, Board Member Mohamad Kelie Antao, Board Member Roselie Cabaya, and Board Member Atty. Roland Jungco.

Also present were representatives of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party, Christians for Peace Movement, Yaqeen Global for Peace, Unypad, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, League of the Bangsamoro Organization, and Social Welfare Committee.

The plebiscite is scheduled on February 6, 2019 for Lanao del Norte and the municipalities in North Cotabato where a total of 67 barangays are proposed for inclusion to the BARMM.

Malacañang declared the day a special non-working day in these areas for the conduct of the plebiscite.

By | February 5th, 2019|MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments
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