MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the postponement of the Bangsamoro elections to 2025, based on the copy of a law that Malacañang released on Friday.
The region's first polls were supposed to be held next year, as mandated by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Duterte on Oct. 28 signed Republic Act 11593, which amended the BOL and stated that the region's first regular elections "shall be held and synchronized with the 2025 national elections."
The Bangsamoro Transition Authority "shall continue as the interim government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)," reads the law.
However, it said the President may appoint 80 new interim leaders of the BTA "who shall serve up to June 30, 2025, or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified."
The BTA had lobbied to postpone the elections, citing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but other groups in the region opposed the move.
Duterte, the first President from Mindanao, had promised the creation of the Muslim-led Bangsamoro region in the lead-up to the 2016 elections. Halfway through his 6-year term, Duterte delivered on this vow that was hoped to end decades of violence in the south.
The law that created the Bangsamoro, signed in July 2018, was the product of a 2014 peace deal between the MILF and the administration of the late Benigno Aquino III.
Video courtesy of PTV