Upon recommendation from the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11593, moving the regional parliamentary elections of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from next year to 2025.
Originally, the Bangsamoro Organic Law set the region’s very first elections to be held in concert with the nation’s general election in May 2022, but after the 80-person BTA requested more time to finish effectively establishing the foundations for autonomy, the polls were deferred.
As such, the BTA will remain in power for the next three years as the interim governing body, as stipulated under the BOL, with the president still able to appoint new members, as well.
Confirming the move, Mohammad Asnin Pendatun, BARMM Cabinet Secretary, shared a copy of RA 11593 via social media.
Maguindanao Representative Esmael Mangudadatu and Bangsamoro interim Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim exrpessed gratitude to the national government for granting the move.
Ebrahim spoke of how the decision to extend the transition period indicates the desire to form a “strong regional bureaucracy” in order to address the longstanding challenges of the region.
Mangudadatu gave his gratitude to those that backed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), an agreement negotiated over the span of 17 years and enjoined by both the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014, in order to establish peace between both groups.
The CAB entails revamping the Moro autonomy structure, to enhance its leadership capabilities.
BARMM was formerly known as the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), until, following years of peace talks, the BOL was ratified in 2019.
Photo: Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism