24 ARMM legislators to join caretaker group in BBL

Published July 14, 2018, 3:07 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Ali Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – The 24 elected members of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) legislature will be among the 104 caretakers that will be involved in the transitory operations for the new Bangsamoro entity under the new Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chair Ghazali Jaafaron the sidelines of the turnover ceremony of the newly proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace on July 17, 2017. (KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chair Ghazali Jaafar on the sidelines of the turnover ceremony of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace on July 17, 2017. (KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

This was disclosed by Bansamoro Transition Commission (BTC) chair Ghazali Jaafar who said the inclusion of the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) members in the pool of caretakers was approved by the bicameral committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives in one of their recent meetings.

The RLA members, according to reports confirmed by ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, earlier complained against an “insertion” in the BBL of a provision naming the 24 BTC members as part of the caretaker body, which will oversee the transition to the new autonomous region.

“The BTC is supposed to cease operation after drafting the BBL and seeing its passage by Congress. Allowing it to serve beyond the intent of President Duterte in creating it purposely to craft the BBL draft only is improper,” an RLA key member reportedly said.

But in an nterview with The Manila Bulletin, Jaafar said the complaint has become “moot and academic” because the Congress’ bicameral committee had already approved and expanded the membership of the proposed provisional body of caretakers.

From the proposed original BTC caretaker role involving its 24 members, the reconciled BBL now raises the number of caretakers to 104, including the 24 incumbent RLA members who will be appointed by the President, Jaafar said.
But the services of the RLA members will cease upon the end of their elective terms on June 30, 2019, he explained.
The proposed caretakers will serve for two years, handling the remaining resources and operations of the would-be-abolished ARMM.

After which, a Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to be formed by the President for the full transition process, takes over, according to legal luminaries.

Meanwhile, civil society groups from Lanao del Sur have encouraged other stakeholders to continue lobbying before the Bicameral committee for the restoration in the BBL of one or more provisions empowering the Bangsamoro over the preservation and management of Lake Lanao, a symbol of Maranaos’ heritage serving at the same time as major source of hydroelectricity in Mindanao and parts of Visayas.

The bicameral committee is eyeing to present the reconciled version of the BBL to President Duterte in time with the third delivery of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23.

 
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