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Rody, Murad to discuss BTA extension

Cotabato City—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is asking Congress to settle the term extension issue of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority within the text of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

MILF chairman Murad Ebrahim expressed reservations to provision under Senate Bill 2214 that seeks to extend the BTA’s mandate for three more years but adds six more seats to the MILF representation in the body while shaving off some seats from the Moro National Liberation Front.

Malacañang, as signatory to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro with the MILF in 2014, will host a meeting today (Thursday) to iron out differences on the proposed term extension.

“There was consensus among senators to bring the issue back to the language of the original BOL with only the date of election to change,” a BARMM ranking official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ebrahim earlier said: “We reiterate, especially to the naysayers, that the extension of the transition period is never about power. It is about ensuring the successful implementation of the Bangsamoro Peace Process.”

“This is not just the legacy of the MILF or of the Duterte Administration but the legacy of this generation and a gift to the next generations of the Bangsamoro. We cannot afford to fail them,” he added.

Political observers have noted the proposed measure underwent several changes since last month when a technical working group was formed out of the Senate Local Governments Committee.

Among the changes was the proposal to drop sector- and district-seat allocations, including those provided for the MNLF and a legislative district in Basilan. SB 2214 also added four BTA seats for Sultan Kudarat which is not part of BARMM.

Asked for comment, lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM spokesman, said Ebrahim and the BARMM leadership immediately communicated to the Senate that the MILF should only be given its original number of representatives—41 seats and not 47—in the BTA Parliament.

Topics: Moro Islamic Liberation Front , Bangsamoro Transition Authority , Bangsamoro Organic Law
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