Proposed bill extending BARMM transition period cited

Philippine News Agency

NEW JUSTICE PARTY MEMBERS. New members of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party take their oath before Party president Al Haj Murad Ebrahim at the party headquarters in Darapanan early this month. An extension in the BARMM’s transition period, if approved by Congress, effectively moves elections in Muslim Mindanao from next year to 2025. (Photo from Mr. Sinarimba’s Facebook page)

COTABATO CITY – A cabinet member in Muslim Mindanao has expressed gratitude to members of the Senate for proposed legislation seeking to extend the transition period of the newly-constituted Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM Minister of the Interior, in a statement, said, “We welcome the development in the Senate relative to the extension of the period of transition and the consequent resetting of the parliamentary elections in the Bangsamoro.”

Sen. Francis Tolentino introduced Senate Bill 2214 late last week, with an appeal: “I ask my colleagues in this august chamber to support this measure extending the term of the BTA (Bangsamoro Transition Authority), not the personalities involved, but the institution.”

Tolentino, who chairs the Senate committee on local government, added that his colleagues “attempted to craft a bill in the hopes of addressing all legal and political issues in a manner that is most fitting and consistent to the intent of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Bangsamoro Organic Law, and always with the welfare of the Bangsamoro people.”

Sinarimbo, who was physically present throughout the entire Senate deliberations, said, “We thank Sen. Tolentino and the members of the committee on LocGov in the Senate for expediting the process by holding a public hearing while Congress was on recess just to complete the committee report and proceed quickly to the plenary.”

He added that he looks forward to “a similar process in the House of Representatives. We appeal to the President to certify the (bill) as urgent given time constraints.”

Asked by media recently, Malacañang spokesperson Harry Roque hinted that the President was inclined to back up the BARMM’s transition extension.

“While Duterte continues to be supportive of the initiative for the transition and even if he will certify the measures as urgent, Roque said Congress would have the final say whether to extend or not the Bangsamoro transition,” a report said. PNA

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