DAVAO CITY – Over half a million individuals signed a petition urging President Duterte to certify as urgent senate and house bills seeking to extend the transition period in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
As of 1:30 pm Wednesday, Mar. 3, the online petition launched by the Civil Society Organizations Movement for Moral Governance (CSO-MMG) and the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC), has gathered 569,662 supporters.
The petition was launched on February 10.
Should the transition period be extended for another three years, the holding of the first regular election of the Parliament shall be postponed from May 2022 to May 2025.
“Considering the very limited session days remaining in Congress before it adjourns sine die on June 4, 2021, there is a need to certify the pending bills calling for the extension of the transition period so that it can be given more prominence and a sense of urgency given the equally important and competing concerns of Congress,” the petition reads.
The petitioners added that they believe that the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) and national government “will be able to accomplish more and uplift the quality of life of the people on a massive scale if they will be given additional time to implement the remaining tasks especially on the much needed institutional reforms and the normalization process for the thousands of MILF combatants who seek to return to peaceful and progressive civilian lives.”
In a statement Tuesday, Atty. Mary Ann Arnado of the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) said the certificate of urgency is very important as Congress has limited time to deliberate on the matter.
“Mahalaga itong pag-issue ng certificate of urgency in the house and in the senate considering that we have a very limited window for the session in congress,” Arnado said.
She said the Mindanao State University, Cotabato City State Polytechnic College, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Ateneo De Davao University, Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, and other academic institutions have signified their support to the petition.
CSO-MMG representative Yul Aluya said organizations such as Bangsamoro Communication Network, and Sangguniang Kabataan in North Cotabato added that they have volunteered to help those who wish to sign the petition but do not have internet access.