COTABATO CITY—Bangsamoro Government spokesperson Naguib Sinarimbo confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte is supportive of the proposal to extend the Bangsamoro transition period from 2022 to 2025.
Sinarimbo, said in a radio interview on Saturday, Nov. 28, that President Duterte believes a three-year transition period is “too short” in order to implement transition priorities and mandates.
This came after Chief Minister Ahod “Al-Haj Murad” Ebrahim met with President Duterte on Monday, Nov. 23, in Davao City to talk about the Bangsamoro Government’s accomplishments and challenges in the transition period.
President Duterte was accompanied by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, and Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr.
“Malinaw po ang posisyon ni Pangulo na nag-a-agree siya na […] ‘yung natitirang panahon na sobra isang taon lamang ay hindi kasya para tapusin yung mga mahahalagang bagay na kailangan mabuo at maipatupad sa loob ng transition,” Sinarimbo said.
Sinarimbo noted that President Duterte’s support to transition extension is based on his cabinet members’ assessment that there have been delays on the implementation of the organic law and the normalization track, thus longer period of time is needed to complete the transition.
Sinarimbo, who is also the current minister of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), said that only the regional elective positions will not be put into 2022 polls should the extension push through.
Elective posts in the local government units in the region, Sinarimbo added, will not be affected such as governors, district representatives, mayors, and councilors by the transition extension.
He further explained that the push to extend the transition period will not automatically mean extension of terms of the incumbent members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament.
“Ang pinaka importante po rito ay maextend ang period of transition, at hindi po ito panawagan para manatili sa pwesto ‘yong mga tao (members of Parliament),” Sinarimbo said.
Several components of peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are yet to be realized in the transition period of 2019 to 2020.
Sinarimbo said key transition activities that include decommissioning of combatants is far away from being finished after only 12,000 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) are decommissioned from its 40,000 target combatants.
Automatic release of the annual block grant, camps transformation, organization of Joint Peace and Security Teams, and enactments of Bangsamoro priority codes and legislations, among others, are some of the issues that need to be addressed.
On Nov. 17, the BTA Parliament adopted Resolution No. 332, urging the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines to amend the provision of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) or the Republic Act 11054 to extend the transition period to 2025.
The Mindanao People’s Caucus, a peace advocacy group, has conducted a rapid midterm review on the Bangsamoro transition period and has recommended the extension of the transition period to three more years. (Bureau of Public Information)
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