House ratifies bill postponing Bangsamoro election until 2025

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2021 12:23 AM

A resident in Sultan Kudarat casts her vote for the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite at the Simuay Junction Crossing Elementary School, January 21, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file
A resident in Sultan Kudarat casts her vote for the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite at the Simuay Junction Crossing Elementary School, January 21, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - The House of Representatives on Tuesday ratified House Bill 10121 which seeks to postpone the first regular election of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) until 2025.

The chamber gave its formal approval for the bicameral conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill.

Once the Senate ratifies its version, the bill will be enrolled and transmitted for the President’s signature.

Lawmakers last week approved HB 10121, which would amend the Bangsamoro Organic Law's provision that sets the region's first election in 2022. 

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the bill as urgent.

According to its Congressional fact sheet, the bill will grant the president the power to appoint 80 members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), who will serve up to June 30, 2025 when the incumbent members' terms expire on June 30, 2022.

The current BTA, sitting as the region's parliament, has yet to enact its own electoral code, a crucial document needed to govern the supposed elections in May 2022. 

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim earlier 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 lobbied to postpone the elections, citing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but other groups in the region are opposing the move.

— Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

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