Cotabato City – With the recent ratification of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) extension, which postpones the elections in the autonomous region to 2025 instead of 2022, Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim expressed his gratitude and praises to the House of Representatives and the Senate.
In a statement, Ebrahim, on behalf of the BTA, appreciated the personalities that supported the bill extending the current government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and especially mentioned President Rodrigo Duterte as “a son of Mindanao and a Moro by heart.”
Others he thanked are Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Toto Mangundadatu, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Majority Floor Leader Rep. Martin Romualdez, Senator Francis Tolentino, Senate Majority Floor Leader Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
The BTA chief also pointed out that the extension is not a cue to be complacent, but to instead be more challenged to accomplish what needs to be done.
“Instead, we should double time to assure more programs, projects, and policies come into light. This is arguably the most crucial stage of our journey to peace and development in our homeland,” Ebrahim said.
As an exclamation point to their statement, the Bangsamoro government concluded with a powerful message: “We are Bangsamoro first. Isantabi na ang politika, Bangsamoro muna.”
In May 2021, BARMM officials and residents urged lawmakers to craft and pass legislation to postpone the supposed 2022 elections in the BARMM because the BTA needed more time to complete key milestones, which were delayed by the pandemic.
The Bangsamoro transition extension bill passed the House with a unanimous 187-0 vote and was ratified last week at the Senate.