Meet the members of the Transition Commission

Angela Casauay

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Get to know the 15 members of the body tasked to create the Bangsamoro basic law

MANILA, Philippines — Fifteen individuals will perform the task of drafting the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).  

Led by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, the Transition Commission convened for the first time on Wednesday, April 3.

The body was created by virtue of Executive Order 120. Eight of the members were nominated by the MILF while 7 were nominated by the government. 

“The MILF views the commission as its first initial partnership with the GPH (government of the Philippines),” Iqbal said during the opening ceremonies for the commission’s first meeting. “We shall not work against each other but instead work with each other to address the Moro problem or more correctly, the Moro question,” he added.

Who are the members of the Transition Commission? They have one thing in common — they are all Bangsamoro. Get to know them here:

Mohagher Iqbal – Chairman

  • Also the chief negotiator of the MILF on the peace talks
  • Member of the MILF Central Committee, chair of the committee on information
  • Studied BA Political Science and MA Political Science at the Manuel Quezon University
  • Joined the Moro National Liberation Front in 1972 after returning to Maguindanao from Manila
  • Joined the MILF, then known as the New MNLF Leadership, in 1977
  • Wrote two books — Bangsamoro: A Nation Under Endless Tyranny, and The Long Road to Peace: Inside the GPH-MILF Peace Talks under the pen name Salah Jubair
  • Hails from Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao

The members

From the MILF side: 

Ibraham Ali

  • Member of the MILF Central Committee
  • Board of Consultants of the MILF peace panel
  • Member of the MILF since the 1970s
  • Member of the MILF’s Darul Ifta (House of Opinion)
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of Hayatol Ulama of the Philippines
  • Educated in Saudi Arabia – studied at the Arabic Language Institute of the King Abdul Aziz University in Mecca from 1980 to 1987; College of Islamic Law at Ummol Qura University in Mecca from 1982 to 1987; and King Soud University in Riyadh for a post-graduate diploma from 1994 to 1995
  • Director of the Kutawato Islamic Institute in Cotabato City from 1989 to 1993


Maulana Alonto       

  • A writer and an activist from Lanao del Sur
  • Member of the MILF central committee
  • Joined the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel as member of its Technical Committee in 2000 when peace negotiations were held in Tripoli, Libya
  • Became a member of the peace panel in 2003
  • A former MNLF member, he joined the organization as a young Moro student
  • Fought against the Marcos dictatorship as head of the information and propaganda of the Northern Mindanao Regional Revolutionary Committee (NMRC)
  • Left the MNLF in 1981 and joined the “above-ground” anti-Marcos movement
  • Joined the MILF when former MILF chair Sheikh Salamat Hashim came home from exile in the mid-80s

Abdulla Camlian

  • An alternate member of the MILF Peace Panel since 2010
  • Chairman of the MILF Technical Committee
  • Studied BS Military Science in the Cairo Military Academy in 1965
  • Hails from Basilan; Sama-Bangingi-Tausug ethnic roots

Raissa Jajurie

  • Board of Consultants of the peace panel of the MILF
  • Member of the MILF’s technical working group on the annex on wealth-sharing
  • Studied AB Political Science at the Ateneo de Manila University and law at the University of the Philippines
  • A human rights lawyer with expertise on the issues of workers, women, peace in Mindanao, indigenous peoples, and the Moros
  • Handles cases of Moro political detainees and human rights defenders, and works on the prosecution of human rights violation
  • A Tausug, she hails from Jolo, Sulu

Hussein Munoz

  • Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces
  • Studied AB Political Science at the University of Mindanao in Davao City
  • Also known as “Sonny Davao”
  • Fluent in English ang Tagalog, as well as in Maguindanao, Tausug, and Bisaya
  • Hails from Lupon, Davao Oriental


Said Shiek

  • Head of the MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities.
  • Finished Secondary Education at the Lanao National College and practiced his teaching profession in the province
  • A Maranao 

Timuay Melanio Ulama

  • A Teduray leader who heads the Organization of Teduray and Lambangian Conference
  • Indigenous Peoples (IP) consultant of the MILF
  • Finished BS Agronomy in Upi Agricultural School and MA Public Administration in Notre Dame University
  • Hails from Upi, Maguindanao

On the government side:


Talib Abdulhamid Benito

  • A practicing Shari’ah lawyer
  • Former Dean of the King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic and Asian Studies at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City from 2008 to 2012
  • Long-standing member of the Philippines Shari’ah Bar since 1985, serving as legal researcher and professor, specializing in Muslim procedural law and Muslim law of personal and family relations
  • A Maranao

Pedrito Eisma

  • Host of a news program aired in Basilan Today TV
  • Recognized twice as an Outstanding Municipal Councilor as an awardee of the Gawad Parangal ng Bayan in 1999 and the Excellence in Public Service Award in 2000.
  • Authored the resolution that led to the conversion of the municipality of Isabela into a component city separate from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
  • Teaches Political Science and Director of Student Affairs at the Claret College of Isabela in Basilan
  • Finished Bachelor of Law at Silliman University
  • A native of Basilan

Froilyn Mendoza

  • Member of the all-women contingent of the Civilian Protection component of the International Monitoring Team
  • Studied BS Agriculture at the University of Southern Mindanao and earned another degree as registered midwife in Northern Cotabato College
  • Project Manager of the special project for the advocacy of Lumad women’s rights in the ARMM by UNIFEM (now UN Women)
  • Advocacy specialist of the special project of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance for the empowerment of Indigenous Peoples in the ARMM
  • One of the founding members of the Teduray Lambangian Women’s Organization Inc
  • A Teduray who hails from South Upi, Maguindanao

Akmad Sakkam

  • Served as ambassador to three Islamic states — Iraq from 1986 to 1992; Bahrain from 1994 to 1999; and Oman from 1999 to 2003
  • A recipient of the Presidential Award of Merit given by former President Cory Aquino for his “outstanding service to the country in the safe evacuation of Filipino workers in Kuwait and Iraq during the first Gulf War of 1991”
  • Served as labor attache to Saudi Arabia from 1976 to 1981
  • Recipient of an outstanding service award from the DFA for exceptional performance and contributions to foreign policy formulation
  • A native of Sulu

Fatmawati Salapuddin

  • Active member of the civil society sector, particularly in the area of peace-making
  • Director of the Bureau of Peace and Conflict Resolution under the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos since 2010
  • Served as a member of the Consultative Assembly of the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD), the transition mechanism of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the MNLF
  • A native of Sulu

Asani Tammang

  • Former representative of Sulu for 3 consecutive terms — the 9th, 10th, and 11th Congress
  • A trial lawyer; served as assistant provincial prosecutor in the past
  • “Proud son” of the town of Pamanao in the province of Sulu

Johaira Wahab

  • Youngest member of the Transition Commission
  • Obtained her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, minor in Psychology at the University of the Philippines (Diliman), magna cum laude, in 2005 and finished her law degree (Juris Doctor) at the same university in 2009
  • Member of the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member of the board of Nisa Ul Haqq Fi Bangsamoro
  • Actively engaged in advocacies for gender justice in Islam and minority rights
  • Member of the International Advisory Group of Musawah
  • Served as the head of the legal team of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel upon the resumption of the peace talks with the MILF under the Aquino administration in July 2010
  • Hails from Maguindanao

 Source: Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process


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