MANILA - Malacanang on Sunday touted the composition of the new Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) for including representatives of the Moro National Liberation Front aside from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The BTA is an 80-member body that functions as an interim government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Among the new members of the BTA are Abdulkarim Misuari and Nurrheda Misuari, son and daughter of MNLF Chairman and founder Nur Misuari.
“The fact that the unity between the MNLF and MILF happened under the present administration is an indication that President Marcos’ call for unity is being heeded by the former Moro rebel groups,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a statement released on Sunday.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said the extension of the BTA’s term of office from 2022 to 2025 was meant to give the body more time to complete its tasks under the BOL.
"We are given another chance…but we have three years and it is not a long time for this rather basic, fundamental, and highly important pieces of legislation that have to be produced now by the Transition Authority. I’m specifically referring to fiscal policy. You have to define taxation and fiscal policy, and how they are going to be defined and what are the rules to be followed," Marcos said in a speech in Malacanang on Friday.
Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr also lauded the inclusion of the MNLF in the BTA, which was negotiated with the MILF.
“It has been a long time since the MNLF and the MILF have split but under the Marcos administration, they are one in pushing for sustainable peace and development in the Bangsamoro," Galvez said.
The BOL specifies that the MILF shall lead the BTA, making up 41 of the 80-member body. The remaining 39 members, meanwhile are endorsed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH).
"With the joining of the MNLF and the MILF, and with the 'balanced' and equitable composition of the 39 GPH nominees... this is now no longer just the BTA of the old BARMM but the BTA of a 'United BARMM,'" Galvez said.
Malacanang said the BTA participation of the MNLF under Misuari’s leadership “is a product of the convergence effort of the OPAPRU to harmonize the Bangsamoro peace agreements that include the 1976 Tripoli, the 1996 Final Peace Agreements and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.”