The people of Sulu are objecting to the postponement of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region election and the extension of the term of the current Bangsamoro Transition Authority officials, according to Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan in his Dec. 6, 2020 letter to President Rodrigo Duterte.
He also relayed the same sentiment to the committee on suffrage of the House of Representatives last Jan. 20.
The first regular election for the officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region was set by the Bangsamoro Organic to be synchronized with the May 2022 national elections.
The region is presently governed by the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority whose officials were appointed by the President.
Five bills have been filed at the House of Representatives calling for the postponement of the BAR elections to 2025 and allowing the term extension of the BTA officials.
Citing the BOL, Tan said any postponement of the BAR election and the subsequent extension of the BTA officials’ term will delay the free exercise toward self-governance of the Bangsamoro people, thus depriving them of the “opportunity to prove, once and for all, that they can sufficiently and responsibly govern themselves.”
This negates the very principles on which the BOL rests, Tan said.
Cutting down the arguments put forth by proponents of the election postponement, the Sulu Governor declared that the BTA is using the proposal as an excuse for its failure to set up the political and legislative infrastructure to effect a smooth transition.
Of the six priority legislative codes mandated by the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the BTA, since its creation in early 2019, has successfully enacted only one, the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, Tan said.