Malacañan Palace, February 24, 2019 – Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. emphasized that the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will provide the Bangsamoro people an opportunity to achieve their long-held aspirations.
“Through the BTA, the Bangsamoro people shall have stronger voice and have the power to chart their own course of development,” he said in his message during the ceremonial confirmation of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite canvass results and oath-taking of the members of the BTA held in Malacañan Palace.
Galvez noted that the successful conduct of plebiscite last January 21 and February 6, which resulted in the ratification of BOL and the expansion of its territory to include Cotabato City and 63 barangays in North Cotabato, confirmed that the people have been yearning for peace and progress.
“The passage and eventual ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law by a majority of residents in the region was a concrete manifestation of the people’s overwhelming support for the future BARMM government,” he said.
The peace adviser reminded the BTA members that the government will stand behind them as they work towards their mission of “bringing enduring peace and sustainable development in the region.”
Transition to succeed with good governance
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presided over the oath-taking and announced that Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim has been appointed as the Interim Chief Minister of the transition government.
The President then challenged the newly-appointed members to promote good governance for the transition to succeed.
“Always embody the dreams and aspirations of the great men and women who came before you and fought for the recognition of your right to determine your future,” he said.
“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,” he added.
The BTA is an 80-member governing body tasked to pass crucial legislations to operationalize the BOL and exercise executive powers during the transition period.
Upon its establishment, the BTA will enact the Bangsamoro codes for Administrative, Revenue, Electoral, Local Government, and Education.
The transition government will also organize the bureaucracy of the Bangsamoro government in the transition period, which includes the approval and implementation of a transition plan, institution of a credible placement for hiring personnel, set up of offices and institutions for continued function of government, and ensure smooth operations of the first elected Bangsamoro Government in 2022.
According to the President, the success of the transition period is certain if the leaders “work for the best interest and welfare, not only of the Bangsamoro people, but every Filipino who live in that region.”
He added that he is optimistic that strife and violence in Mindanao will finally be put to rest.
“The road to peace may be long and rough, but I am glad that we have finally reached its endpoint. My only hope is that we put to rest the bitter memories of the past so that we can build a new region that is bound, not by ethnic or religious affiliation, but by a common aspiration for peaceful coexistence among our fellow Filipinos,” he said. ###