3-year term of appointed Bangsamoro transition leaders 'tyrannical' - MNLF official


Posted at Feb 27 2019 09:47 AM | Updated as of Feb 27 2019 10:08 AM

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MANILA - Having appointed members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority lead the new region in the south for the next 3 years is "tyrannical," the vice chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front said Wednesday.

Firdausi Abbas, recognized as sultan of Lanao, wants Congress to call an election within 6 months, instead of waiting for 2022, "so that the Bangsamoro people will be given the chance finally to choose their representatives and those they want to be in the government."

"Three years is a long time, and without the mandate of the people, that is tyrannical. It’s a no-no for us because we worked for this. We labored for this. We sacrificed for this—not these people," he told ANC's Early Edition.

He previously said he would establish a splinter group after the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was given 41 of 80 seats in the BTA. The MNLF was given 5 of 39 seats allotted for appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The MILF negotiated the peace deal with the government in 2014, which led to the Bangsamoro Organic Law that was ratified earlier this year. The MNLF earlier signed its own agreement in 1996. 

"We want that this Bangsamoro Transition Authority will not have a controlling majority and that other sectors of the Bangsamoro, all the sectors as it is so contained in the Bangsamoro Organic Law will be properly represented," said Abbas, who said he now leads a faction composed of 32 MNLF commanders.

BTA interim minister and MILF chair Murad Ebrahim said the 3-year transition to be led by team composed mostly of members of his group was deliberately done to allow them to transform from armed rebels to bureaucrats.

But Abbas said this supposed transition of MILF members should be done in private without using government funds.

"We have nothing to do with their transformation, that is personal to them, that is their problem. You do not use the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, which is intended for the people, as the venue to transform. Let them transform in their camps," he said.