Who’s who in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority

Pia Ranada, Sofia Tomacruz

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Who’s who in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority
Let's take a look at the composition of the BTA: How many women and men? Which provinces do the members come from, and what are their areas of expertise?

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be inaugurated on Friday, March 29, kickstarting the work of the newly-created Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).

The Bangsamoro Parliament, composed of BTA members, also held its First Session on Friday, paving the way for the new region’s laws. 

There are at present 75 BTA members, all appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte. They are led by Interim Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim (real name Ahod Balawag Ebrahim). 

In this article, we break down the BTA’s composition, looking at how many women and men there are, the background and expertise of each member, and their places of origin.

We did not include in our breakdown the 24 former ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) officials automatically included in the BTA but who will be members only until June 30, when their terms end.

Here’s a quick look at our findings:

  • Men far outnumber the women.
  • Most BTA members come from Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
  • As expected, the BTA is dominated by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) nominees, with only 9 Moro National Liberation Front nominees and 26 government nominees.
  • Members are a mix of lawyers, former rebel soldiers, traditional leaders, former government officials, civil society, and youth leaders. There’s an architect and a doctor. 

Gender composition

Hover over the human figures to see the number per gender.

Women make up about 16% of the BTA, with about 12 of the 75 members female. 

MILF, MNLF, government nominees

Hover over the human figures to see the number of MILF, MNLF, and government nominees.

Majority of members of the BTA were from the MILF as they were the dominant group responsible for laying the groundwork of the Bangsamoro Law. In line with this, the Bangsamoro Law also stated the BTA would be led by the MILF. 

Mapping out BTA members’ origins

Hover over the spots in the map to see the number of BTA members who come from the province.


Background, expertise of BTA members

Member Background, expertise
Murad Ebrahim MILF chairman
Ali Solaiman MILF’s 2nd vice chairperson, MILF Central Committee member
Mohagher Iqbal

MILF Central Committee member, Aquino-time BTC member

Abdulraof Macacua

MILF Central Committee member, Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) chief of staff, Duterte-time BTC member

Ibrahim Ali

Muslim scholar, member of MILF Da’wah Committee, Aquino-time BTC member, Duterte-time BTC member

 Haron Abas  MILF secretariat chariperson, Duterte-time BTC member

Mohammad Zainoden Bato


MILF Central Committee member


Said Salendab


Muslim scholar, secretary general of Hayatul Ulama


Mohammad Yacob


MILF Central Committee member


Malik Mantawil


MILF Central Committee member

 Ali Salik MILF Central Committee member
Abdulwahab Pak MILF Central Committee member

Said Shiek

MILF Central Committee member, Aquino-time BTC member, Duterte-time BTC member
Ubaida Pacasem  Lawyer, MILF Central Committee member
Hussein Muñoz  MILF Central Committee member, BIAF deputy chief of staff, Aquino-time and Duterte-time BTC member

Abdullah Gayak

MILF Central Committee member
 Eduard Guerra Architect, MILF Central Committee member
Aida Silongan MILF Social Welfare Committee member
Abdul Dataya Sr Lawyer, chairman of the MILF’s Ad Hoc Joint Action Group
Raissa Jajurie Human rights lawyer, member of MILF peace panel’s legal panel, Aquino-time and Duterte-time BTC member

Tucao Mastura

Traditional leader, former mayor of Sultan Kudarat 

Mibpantao Midtimbang

Traditional leader, former mayor of Guindolongan town
Al-Syed Sali Businessman, NGO leader

Saffrullah Dipatuan

Abdullah Ahang MILF political committee member

Maleiha Candao

Narciso Ekey Businessman
Bainon Karon MNLF Bangsamoro Women chairperson 
Basit Sarip Abbas  BIAF commander
Suwaib Oranon  BIAF commander

Akmad Abas (Commander Jack)

 BIAF commander
Abdullah Macapaar (Commander Bravo)  BIAF commander
Faiz Alauddin MILF political committee member 
Hadji Abdulazis Mohammad Esmael BIAF commander

Marjanie Macasalong

Youth representative, Islamic studies academe
Lanang Ali Jr Youth representative, lawyer

Ali Pangalian Balindong

Lawyer, traditional leader, former Lanao del Sur representative
Zesar Hajaj Alil  MILF political committee member
Melanio Ulama IP consultant of MILF, Aquino-time and Duterte-time BTC member, Teduray leader, part of MILF implementing panel in 2016
Muslima Abubakar Asmawil Entrepreneur
Muslimin Jakilan Department of Labor and Employment-ARMM Secretary 
Sahie Sappayani Udjah Professor
Adzfar Hailid Usman Professor
Omar Yasser Sema Lawyer, MNLF member, Duterte-time BTC member 
Romeo Sema

MNLF vice chair, Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission (ARMM) chairman

Punduma Batinting Sani Professor

Abdul Raji Sahrin

Secretary-general of the MNLF-Sema faction
Hatimil Hassan MNLF foreign relations office, MNLF peace negotiating panel, Duterte-time BTC member, ARMM assembly speaker, Basilan representative in ARMM assembly, chairperson of Southern Philippines Peace and Development Authority 
Zul Qarneyn Abas Doctor, Department of Health-ARMM assistant secretary
Musa Diamla  MILF member, Lanao del Sur government
Rasul Ismael Law graduate of Notre Dame University Cotabato
Sitti Shahara Mastura Law graduate of Notre Dame University Cotabato
Amilbahar Mawallil

Former director ARMM Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs, former director ARMM information office, author, former journalist, writer, youth, founding chair of Young Moro Professionals Network in Western Mindanao

Eddie Mapag Alih Former Mindanao State University Tawi-Tawi chancellor
Khadafeh Mangudadatu

ARMM assemblyman

Jamel Macaraya Bangsamoro Development Authority board member 

Modayao  Macasalong Sacar

President of Bangsa Duterte Movement

Abraham Burahan

Mayor Hadji Panglima Tahil, Sulu, League of Municipalities of the Philippines secretary general

Edrieza Nasser Rimbang Former member of Office of Muslim Affairs
Paisalin Tago Former commissioner National Commission on Muslim Filipinos
Nabila Pangandaman Youth representative
Laisa Alamia Lawyer, former ARMM Executive Secretary and concurrent ARMM Social Welfare Secretary, first chairperson of the ARMM Regional Human Rights Commission
Suharto Ambolodto Lawyer, INCITEGov board of trustees
Susana Anayatin Technical service chairperson of DTI-ARMM, NAMFREL Cotabato chairperson, teacher, Duterte-time BTC member, settler communty representative
Maisara Dandamun-Latiph Senior state solicitor, Duterte-time BTC member, assistant secretary of DepEd ARMM, Khadija Center for Muslim Women Studies chairperson
Mussolini Lidasan Duterte-time BTC member, founder and executive director of Al Qalam Institute Ateneo de Davao University, member of Board of Directors of Al Amanah Investment Bank, Provincial board member of Maguindanao, president of Aksyon Mindanao
Don Mustapha Loong DPWH ARMM Secretary, founded and drafter of Constitution of the Young Moro Professionals 
Jose Iribani Lorena OPPAP undersecretary, Duterte-time BTC member, MNLF peace panel member, GPH-MILF peace process group on power sharing
Abdulmuhmin Mujahid ARMM Darul Ifta director
Romeo Saliga Teduray, IPs, National Commission for Culture and Arts executive council, regional council Foundation for Philippine Environment, Duterte-time BTC member
Alzad Sattar DepEd-ARMM Undersecretary for Madrasah Education
Nabil Tan OPPAP undersecretary, deputy presidential peace adviser, GPH-MILF peace implementing panel chairperson, GPH-MNLF peace panel chairperson
Hamid Aminoddin Datu Barra Lawyer, former dean of the King Faisal Center for Islam, Asian and Arabic Studies, Islamic scholar, National Ulama Conference of the Philippines
Anna Tarhata Basman –  Lawyer, head of the legal team of the government panel in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Bangsamoro Basic Law
Baintan Adil Ampatuan Engineer, ARMM regional planning and development office executive director, Head of ARMM Transition Team

Duterte has to appoint 5 more members to complete what is supposed to be an 80-member body. One of those 5 will be nominated by the MILF as they will take the place of top MILF leader Ghazali Jaafar, who passed away on March 13.

Bangsamoro Interim Cabinet

Murad has also named the members of his Cabinet who are expected to take their oath this Friday, March 29.

  • Murad Ebrahim – Ministry of Public Works and Highways (concurrent with his role as Interim Chief Minister)
  • 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
  • Doctor Safrullah 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
  • Timuay Melanio Ulama – Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs

Bangsamoro Parliament

On Friday, the BTA held its First Session as a Parliament where they elected the Parliament officers. They are the following:

  • Speaker: Ali Pangalian Balindong
  • Deputy Speaker: Hatimil Hassan
  • Majority Leader: Lanang Ali Jr
  • Minority Leader: Laisa Alamia

What comes next?  Within the first 60 days after the BTA takes charge, Murad will need to submit a proposed transition plan, which will detail next steps as ARMM phases out to make way for BARMM.

The transition plan will contain an organizational plan and implementation schedule, which will then be reviewed and approved by the BTA as a whole.

SUPPORT. Majority of residents voted to ratify the Bangsamoro Law in January 2019. Photo by Red Santos/Office of Senator Miguel Zubiri

After seeing majority of residents vote to ratify the Bangsamoro law, the challenge for the MILF is to build the foundations of the new Bangsamoro region. 

The BTA will have the task of delivering results that the Bangsamoro people expect from the BOL: peace and security, reduced poverty, development of business and jobs, and stability among ethnic clans and economic classes, among others.

What are some of the BTA’s priorities? The BTA will be in charge of governing the Bangsamoro region for the next 3 years.

Its first steps will include crafting laws that will serve as the foundation for its governance, namely administrative, local government, and electoral codes.

It needs to set up the BARMM bureaucracy, especially the line agencies that will be tasked with delivering basic services and implementing key programs – from critical infrastructure to protecting and using natural resources.

OATH TAKING. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte flashes the peace sign as he poses for a photo with the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority following their oath-taking at the Malacañang Palace on February 22, 2019. Photo from Malacañang

Murad has said the BTA will prioritize education, health services, social services, and infrastructure.

The Chief Minister and his Cabinet will be in charge of executing laws and programs. The BTA, sitting as a Parliament, will exercise the legislative functions.

Also among the BTA’s 55 powers is the administration of its own justice system, raising of funds through tax collection, alteration of boundaries of municipalities and barangays, and development of culture and education.  Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.
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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers defense and foreign affairs. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz.