PBBM names, swears in BTA members

By Ali G. Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has named the 80 members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim parliamentary government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The President, fondly addressed by supporters as PBBM, swore in his appointees led by BTA Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim at a formal ceremony in Malacañang on Friday, August 12.

Ebrahim, known for long as “Hadji Murad,” chairs the central committee of the erstwhile secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). He held the BTA top post since former president Rodrigo Duterte first inaugurated the BTA in 2019.

The oath-taking rite was attended by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President Anton Lagdameo, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and United Nations Resident Coordinator to the Philippines Gustavo Gonzales.

Majority of those sworn-in are appointees of former President Duterte. The BTA now consists of representatives from various callings such as lawyers, certified public accountants, engineers, teachers, doctors, architects, a media worker, politicians, and government bureaucrats.

All 80 appointees, 41 of them MILF nominees and 39 state-selected, hail from Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi, as well as Bangsamoro communities in North Cotabato, indigenous peoples, and Christian settlers.

The BARMM official website published a complete list of the appointees.

The 41 appointed MILF nominees

Ahod Balawah Ebrahim
Abdullah Ebus Gayak
Abdullah Biston Hashim
Abdullah Goldiano Macapaar
Abdulraof Abdul Macacua
Abdulwahab Mohammad Pak
Aida Macalimpas Silongan
Akmad Indigay Abay
Ali Omar Salik
Ali Bangcola Solaiman
Amroussi Ampuan Macatanong
Anna Tarhata Sumande Basman
Maleiha Bajunaid Candao
Baileng Simpal Mantawil
Basit Sarip Abbas
Benjamin Tupay Loong
Dan Sala Asnawie
Eddie Mapag Alih
Eduard Uy Guerra
Haron Muhammad Abas
Hussien Palma Muñoz
Inrahim Dumaraag Ali
Kadil Monera Sinolinding Jr.
Lanang Tapodoc Ali Jr.
Marjanie Salic Macasalong
Mary Ann Madroño Arnado
Matarul Matarul Estino
Mohagher Mohammad Iqbal
Mohammad Shuaib Yacob
Mosber Entol Alauddin
Mudjib Compania Abu
Pangalian Macaorao Balindong
Raissa Herradura Jajurie
Ramon Alejandro Piang Sr.
Said Zamahsari Salendab
Said Manggis Shiek
Sha Elijah Biruar Dumama-Alba
Suharto Sandayan Esmael
Suwaib Latip Oranon
Tawakal Buga Midtimbang
Ubaida Casad Pacasem

Government-selected

Ali Montaha Datu Haron Babao (MNLF)
Hatimil Esmaeil Hassan (MNLF)
Muslimin Asalim Jakilan (MNLF)
Albakil Dasani Jikiri (MNLF)
Faisal Guiabar Karon (MNLF)
Omar Yasser Crisostomo Sema (MNLF)
Adzfar Hailid Usman
Andulkarim Tan Misuari (MNLF)
Nurredha Ibrahim Misuari (MNLF)
Denmartin Abdulkahil Kahalan
Abdulaziz Mangandaki Amenodin
Hamid Uddin Malik
Tarhata Matalam Maglangit
Randolp Climaco Parcasio (MNLF)
Laisa Masahud Alamia
Rasol Yap Maimug Jr.
Baintan Adil Ampatuan
Jose Iriban Lorena (MNLF)
Nabil Alfad Tan
Suharto Mastura Amboloto
Don Mustapha Arbison Loong
Amilbahar Saddalani Mawallil
Rasul Enderez Ismael
Susana Salvador Anayatin
Romeo Kabuntalan Sema (MNLF)
Froilyn Tenerio Mendoza
Ishak Veloso Mastura
Ali Balayman Sangki
Nabila Margarita Pacasum Pangandaman
Diamla Disimban Ramos
John Anthony Lacbao Lim
Hashemi Nur Dilangalen
Sittie Fahanie Sindatok Uy-Oyod
Jaafar Apollo Mikhael Lintongan Matalam
Bassir Dimaukom Utto
Khalid Ma-ampor Hadji Abdullah
Michael Enit Midtimbang
Mohammad Kelie Ugalingan Antao
Paisalin Pangandamn Tago

In his message, President Marcos was quoted as saying that “in our discussions, what was important was that we were able to say that we have done our absolute best in making sure that the representation that we find in the transition authority could be as fair as possible.”

The appointment of BTA members is pursuant to the intent and spirit of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which the MILF forged with the government in 2014 and was a main basis in the enactment of R.A. 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the BARMM’s Charter.

“I will be here as the head of the national government to support BARMM in any way to get that settled and to make sure that we have an orderly and proper election in 2025, [and] upon electing our new officials that they have a legal framework to work within so that the government can actually function,” the President was quoted as adding.

It may be recalled that Marcos, when he was a senator and chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, had staunchly asserted inclusion of MNLF and other sectors in the legislation of the bill on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which was mothballed in the aftermath of the bloody incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on March 25, 2015.

The BTA original lifespan commenced in 2019 until 2022. But due to perceived lack of time to complete its mandate, the MILF and the government panels pushed for an extension in the BTA lifespan, prompting Congress to enact R.A. 11593, which reset the first BARMM parliament election from 2022 to 2025 to prolong the transition.

R.A. 11593 allows former President Duterte to appoint fresh BTA members. But he opted for status quo in the roster of his original appointees.

Marcos’ appointees will serve until their successors are elected and qualified to office in 2025.

The enactment of R.A. 11593 followed intense debates notably among stakeholders in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Sulu and Basilan where ruling politicians had interposed opposition to BTA lifespan extension.

Staunchest of dissent reportedly emanated from the camps of Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan and Maguindanao Gov. Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu backed by her husband, former Sultan Kudarat Gov. Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu. Gov. Tan later told the Bangsamoro Press Corps that he had relaxed his dissent with Mr. Duterte’s persuasion.

Due to continued dissent by the Maguindanao ruling couple and former Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, the MILF’s United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) put up candidates against them.

The UBJP slate in Cotabato City won, but the MILF party’s candidates in Maguindanao’s congressional and provincial posts lost to rivals in the “Family Alliance” bloc led by the couple.

In the recent lobbies for appointment of BTA members, the BARMM and MILF officialdoms were confronted with the challenge about the emergence of a so-called “MILF-Salamat Wing” that submitted a separate list of nominees to the interim regional parliament.

Reports reaching the Bangsamoro Press Corps said the birth of such MILF faction was allegedly instigated by the “Family Alliance” bloc. The political bloc has yet to confirm or deny the allegation, even as the list of the appointed BTA members ostensibly indicated non-recognition of the factional nominees. (AGM)

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