Senate oks bill postponing BARMM election until 2025

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2021 05:45 PM

Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) assist in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite at the Cotabato City Pilot School, January 21, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) assist in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite at the Cotabato City Pilot School, January 21, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Senate on Monday approved on final reading a measure seeking to postpone for another 3 years the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao's (BARMM) first regular election, originally synchronized with the May 2022 polls. 

Fifteen senators voted in favor of Senate Bill 2214, three voted against it, and one abstained. 

Under the bill, the Bangsamoro Organic Law would be amended to indicate that the region's first elections would be in 2025, instead of next year.

Its counterpart bills have yet to advance in the House of Representatives. 

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), sitting as the region's parliament, has yet to enact its own electoral code, which would govern the supposed elections in May 2022.

Last January, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim vowed to finalize its electoral code in the first quarter of 2021, but the document has yet to materialize 8 months away from the May 2022 polls.

The BTA wants to extend the transition period and delay the election, citing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but other groups in the region are opposing the move. 

The Palace said President Rodrigo Duterte is "neutral" on calls to extend the Bangsamoro government's transition period.

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