Bangsamoro coalition appeals to President Duterte to certify BTA extension bill as urgent


CARAVAN FOR PEACE: Members of the Bangsamoro People’s Coalition assemble in front of the Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila prior to their motorcade dubbed as Caravan for Peace and calling for the extension of Bangsamoro Transition Authority extension from the year 2022 to 2025. (Contributed Photo)

The Bangsamoro People’s Coalition on Wednesday launched a motor caravan around Metro Manila to drum up support for the extension of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) by holding the election in the year 2025 instead of 2022.

Dr. Jolly Lais, spokesman of the Bangsamoro People’s Coalition (BPC) said, “we urge our beloved President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to certify the bill extending the BTA transition period to 2025 as urgent.”

According to Dr. Lais, the transition period of extension will not only be beneficial to the Bangsamoro Government but largely to the national government.

He said when it is extended, the national government will be able to implement its commitments as reflected in the peace agreement it signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) specifically those commitments under the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

In fact, records would show a very minimal output in the implementation of these commitments due to many uncontrollable situations just like the COVID-19 pandemic, the BPC spokesman said.

Dr. Lais also said “this is alarming since the first three years of transition period is about to end in less than a year now. The desperation of some on the realization of these commitments especially to those benefitting from the gains of peace are looking forward that the national government’s actions would be a signal towards changing their lives as they expected positive results.”

He emphasized that it is very little time left for the national government to implement its mammoth commitments.

“No amount of catch-up plan can be initiated in less than a year’s time now due to other equally pressing issues such as the pandemic and the upcoming 2022 general elections,” he also stressed.

He said the only logical and proper way for the national government to salvage the peace process and put things in proper perspective is to extend the transition period which would end up in a win-win situation both for the Philippine government  and the MILF.

“Therefore, we urge President Duterte to heed the clamor of the basic sectors and the most vulnerable, not the voices of those politicians who are perpetually playing politics at the expense of the grassroot communities,” Dr. Lais said.

He also urged Congress  to just set the date of the elections instead in 2022, the first regular BARMM elections should be in 2025.

Finally, the BPC spokesperson also emphasized that to avoid legal scrutiny, the composition of the Members of the Parliament should be compliant with the provisions of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

“We must stick to the truest intent and content of the BOL,”  Dr. Lais further said. (JIJ)

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