Bangsamoro lauds House, Senate for BARMM Poll extension

Published September 28, 2021, 11:39 AM

by Manila Bulletin

COTABATO CITY – With the recent ratification of the Bangsamoro transition extension, which postpones the elections in the autonomous region to 2025 instead of 2022, Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim expressed his gratitude and praises to the House of Representatives and the Senate in a recent statement.

Ebrahim, on behalf of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), especially appreciated the personalities that supported the bill namely Maguindanao 2nd District representative Toto Mangundadatu, Majority Floor Leader Representative Martin Romualdez,House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Senator Francis Tolentino, Majority Floor Leader Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and President Rodrigo Duterte. He especially mentioned Duterte as ‘a son of Mindanao and a Moro by heart’.

The BTA also pointed out that the extension is not a cue to be complacent, but to instead be more challenged to accomplish what needs to be done.

“Instead, we should double time to assure more programs, projects, and policies come into light. This is arguably the most crucial stage of our journey to peace and development in our homeland,” Ebrahim said.

As an exclamation point to their statement, the Bangsamoro government concluded with a powerful message: “We are Bangsamoro first. Isantabi na ang politika, Bangsamoro muna,”

In May 2021, BARMM officials and residents urged lawmakers to craft and pass legislation to postpone the supposed 2022 elections in the BARMM because the BTA needed more time to complete key milestones, which were delayed by the pandemic.

The Bangsamoro transition extension bill passed the Lower House with a unanimous 187-0 vote, and was recently ratified at the Senate.