Bangsamoro transition to stay on track despite Jaafar's death - analyst


Posted at Mar 14 2019 10:21 AM

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MANILA - The transition to an autonomous Bangsamoro region in the south will go on smoothly despite the recent death of Moro Islamic Liberation Front vice-chairman Ghazali Jaafar, a policy analyst said Thursday.

Jaafar was supposed to serve as speaker of the Bangsamoro parliament, but died of an illness on Wednesday, a week before the the scheduled inauguration of the region's legislators. 

He was a "consensus builder," but so are other leaders of the MILF and that has been key for the Moro rebel group's resilience, said Benedicto Bacani, executive director of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance.

"We see that this is a big loss, but I don’t think this is something that will negatively impact in a very substantial way the road map that we are implementing at the moment," he told ANC's Early Edition.

The former combatants of MILF "hit the ground running," when they assumed as transition leaders of the Bangsamoro region and "the business of governance is there," said Bacani.

"I think that’s very important to project—stability, while you move on, restructuring and preparing the ground for a new structure of government," he said.

"Let’s give the process time. Of course, people expect a lot from this, but you know how governance, restructuring and reforms take time to materialize. But I see the will to do this, to move on—at all levels, from the level of the President and the regional leaders," he said.

Parts of Mindanao in January and February voted to be part of the Bangsamoro region, which will enjoy greater autonomy from the national government.