Photo by Hamdan Badrudin
TAWI-TAWI—Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other sectors from across the province of this province strongly supported the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s (BTA) priority code—the Bangsamoro Electoral Code (BEC) during the public consultation held on Dec. 7, at Mindanao State University (MSU) Gymnasium in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
The consultation for the Bangsamoro Electoral Code or BTA Bill No. 29 aimed to involve all sectors—including the women, youth, and religious sectors, political parties, academe, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), senior citizen groups, and other private sectors of the society in the Bangsamoro region—to hear their voices, insights, positions, and suggestions for an inclusive and participative legislation process on the said proposed bill.
Jibril Arsad, executive secretary of Tawi-Tawi Sanib Pwersa Kabataan, Inc.,—a coalition of 83 active youth organizations in the province of Tawi-Tawi accredited by the Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC), expressed their full support to the proposed BTA Bill to strengthen the territorial and political subdivisions of BARMM.
“We honor the selfless effort, dedication, and struggle of our Mujahideen and other Moro leaders who valiantly fought with their lives to attain and defend peace, justice, security, governance, and autonomy in the Bangsamoro region and for the people,” Arsad stated.
Legal volunteer Al-Rashid Yusop also showed his support for the electoral provision, specifically mandating the educational requirements of the candidates.
“We are obliged to send our children to school, and I think, nowadays, we have several educated individuals in Tawi-Tawi alone. They have the potential to be elected and become a leader of our society. Let us give them a chance to lead us,” Yusop said.
To improve the provisions of the proposed bill, suggestions were also expressed by the members of different sectors.
Hamid Ladjakahal, former undersecretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the defunct ARMM, suggested that to have an equal representation of leaders, there has to be special consideration to different ethnicities such as the Sama ethnic group in the selection process for the members of the parliament.
Hamiruddin Hassan, a student and member of an active youth organization in Tawi-Tawi, backed the proposed bill and hopes that it will ensure clean, fair, honest, and peaceful elections in the entire region.
“Being one of a youth that is advocating for a violent-free election, I want to see an election in BARMM to be a model of credible, acceptable, and free from any form of violence in the future,” Hassan said.
Earlier, during the first day of the consultation in the said province, Governor Yshmael “Mang” Sali expressed his full support for the BEC.
“As the father of Tawi-Tawi, we are very happy and thankful for the members of the parliament in explaining to us the provisions and purpose of the electoral code,” Sali said.
“If we have opinions, recommendations and suggestions, at least, we were allowed to raise it directly to the MPs, and in support, we will submit our position paper for the bill,” he added. (Kasan Usop, Jr./BIO)