2022 Philippine Elections

Murad says BOL ensures peace pact implementation whoever wins

Rommel Rebollido
Murad says BOL ensures peace pact implementation whoever wins

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “A Haj Murad” Ebrahim speaks during a news conference on April 23, 2022.

VP Leni Media Bureau

BARMM interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag 'Al Haj Murad' Ebrahim says the Bangsamoro Organic Law ensures the implementation of the peace agreement regardless of who becomes the successor of President Rodrigo Duterte

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim is unfazed about how his group’s decision to support the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo would impact the region and its present leaders if she fails in her quest for the presidency.

Ebrahim, the leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its political party United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), openly declared on April 23 his group’s support for Robredo despite her facing an uphill battle.

The move has become a cause for worry for some who said the endorsement would likely have repercussions on the BARMM and Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) if another candidate wins in the presidential race.

But Ebrahim said he was not worried and was even confident that Robredo would emerge as the winner.

Besides, he said, the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) ensures the implementation of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) regardless of who becomes the successor of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He pointed out that the BOL provides that the 80-member BTA has until this year to complete essential tasks and prepare for the BARMM’s parliamentary elections. 

The BARMM’s parliamentary elections were supposed to be synchronized with this year’s national and local elections until the Duterte administration extended the office terms of the special administrative region’s interim officials on October 28, 2021. 

Republic Act 11593 amended the BOL, and moved the BARMM elections from 2022 to 2025, giving the BTA three more years.

The amended law not only extended the BTA’s term but also gave the next president the authority to name its new members for an additional three years.

Ebrahim said the amended BOL also provides that the BTA should be led by the MILF. 

When BARMM was created in March 2019, Duterte appointed 41 MILF members to the BTA, and 39 others were nominated by the national government.

Ebrahim said the UBJP’s endorsement of Robredo was in the best interest of the region.

Deputy Speaker and Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman said the MILF and UBJP’s endorsement of Robredo’s presidential bid gave the vice president’s winning chances a boost given that the BARMM has at least 2.5 million voters.

Hataman, who openly supports Robredo, said the UBJP endorsement was a reflection of what people on the ground in the BARMM think about the vice president’s capability and determination despite the different positions of most of the region’s provincial leaders.

Some Bangsamoro political leaders, however, do not see things the way Hataman and Ebrahim do, saying the endorsement could adversely affect current BTA members whose office terms end on June 30.

Robredo’s rival, presidential survey frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., has secured the support of governors Abdusakar Tan of Sulu, Yshmael Sali of Tawi-tawi, Mariam Mangudadatu of Maguindanao, and Mamintal Adiong Jr. of Lanao del Sur, and Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi of Cotabato City, the regional center of the BARMM. 

Only one of BARMM’s five provincial governors, Hadjiman Hataman Saliman of Basilan, has thrown his support for Robredo. The governor and Representatve Hataman are brothers. – Rappler.com

Rommel Rebollido is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.