COTABATO CTIY, Philippines – While he was expected to automatically become a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), outgoing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman declined the position on Tuesday, February 26.
At the ceremonial turnover of the ARMM to the newly-created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) here, Hataman said he would be focusing on his home province of Basilan, where he is running as congressman.
“Nasa punto ako ngayon kung kailan ko gustong tutukan ang aming mga komunidad sa Basilan. Hindi po makatarungan para sa kanila, at para sa BTA, kung mapipilitan akong hatiin ang aking atensiyon,” he said.
(I am at a point where I want to focus on our communities in Basilan. It will be unfair to them, and to the BTA, if I will be forced to divide my attention.)
Hataman told BARMM Interim Chief Minister Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim: “Anumang oras, bukas ang pinto at telepono ko para sa iyo. Kung may maitutulong ako, sa kahit anong paraan, lalo na kung para sa ikabubuti ng Bangsamoro, isang tawag mo lang, na’ndito ako para tumugon.”
(My door and my telephone line will always be open to you. If there’s anything I can do to help, especially if it’s for the good of the Bangsamoro, I’m a phone call away, I’ll respond.)
During the ceremony, Hataman turned over ARMM transition documents to Murad. The documents were organized into 9 books, namely:
- Main Report
- Agency Briefers
- Devolution Documents
- Inventory of ARMM officials and employees
- Technical Documents
- Executive Issuances
After the turnover ceremony, Murad and the BTA members had a tour of the ARMM’s Office of the Regional Governor, the seat of the new Bangsamoro government.
BTA members to vow on the Holy Qur’an
Murad announced that the 80 members of the BTA would take their oath on the Holy Qur’an, the Islamic sacred book.
He said this is to ensure that the BTA would run a government that is “free of all the ills of governance.”
“Our enemy is graft and corruption, our enemy is manipulation of government, our enemy is nepotism, our enemy is all those ills of the government,” Murad said.
The BTA initially appointed 10 of its Cabinet members who will head the BARMM ministries. They are:
- Architect Eduard Guerra – Ministry of Finance and Budget Management
- Lawyer Raissa Jajurie – Ministry of Social Sevices
- Mohagher Iqbal – Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education
- Dr Zafrullah Dipatuan – Ministry of Health
- Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo – Ministry of Local Government
- Abdulraof Macacua – Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy
- Mohammad Yacob – Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform
- Hussein Munoz – Ministry of Public Order and Safety
- Al Haj Murad Ebrahim – Ministry of Public Works
- Timuay Melanio Ulama – Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs
“For now, we will be assuming the structure of the ARMM. We will only replace those what we call the coterminous with the regional governor. All those in the bureaucracy will still be intact,” Murad said.
The BTA, although still incomplete, was set to hold its first meeting on Wednesday, February 27. – Rappler.com