DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte is expected to announce soon the 80 members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) as the initial result of the plebiscite on the coverage of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) indicates support for greater autonomy for Muslim Mindanao.
Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has submitted to the President the names of 80 nominees.
ThThe BTA is tasked to oversee the interim government of BARMM.
Thee creation of the BTA is provided for under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed on March 27, 2014 between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said the BARMM would be in place as soon as the President constituted the BTA, unless the Supreme Court rules in favor of a petition questioning the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
But Panelo is confident the high tribunal will reject the petition.
“We cannot be waylaid in the meanwhile in the race to peace and progress,” Panelo said.
He also urged critics of BOL to yield to the rule of the majority. “The sovereign voice of the participating voters in the just concluded plebiscite has spoken, ushering a ray of hope to that war weary, poverty stricken, long neglected and much heralded promised land of the ’50s,” he said.
“The Bangsamoro Organic Law has been officially ratified, it behooves the discordant voices to yield to the rule of the majority,” he added.
“The quest (for) lasting peace in that region saw not only the bloody encounters among the Muslim combatants but spawned more conflicts as well, giving birth to more armed groups and violent hostilities to the sufferance of the Bangsamoro people and the Christian inhabitants,” the spokesman added.
Panelo also praised Muslim rebels for joining the democratic process.
“We urge the people in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to give their new leaders their support and cooperation but at the same we implore them to be vigilant and assertive of their rights. We also call on the mandated leaders to be fealty to their oaths of office,” he said. ……www.philstar.com/Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - February 7, 2019 - 12:00am