Palace: MILF may get most seats in extended Bangsamoro Transition Authority

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 02 2021 05:24 PM

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he Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will likely account for majority of the Bangsamoro's interim government, which will continue to lead the region after the postponement of its supposed first elections next year, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week signed a law postponing the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao's (BARMM) elections to 2025. The law said the Bangsamoro Transition Authority "shall continue as the interim government" and that the President may appoint 80 new interim leaders of the BTA. 

"Hintayin na lang po natin ang desisyon ng Presidente," said his spokesman Harry Roque. 

"Pero siyempre po, hindi naman po pupuwedeng sabihin na balewala ang magiging boses ng MILF. Sigurado naman po ako, mayorya ng mga maa-appoint ng Presidente ay manggagaling pa rin sa hanay ng MILF bagama’t mayroon din po iyang appointees ang ating gobyerno," he said in a press briefing. 

(Let us just wait for the decision of the President. But of course, we cannot discount the voice of the MILF. I am sure that majority of those who will be appointed by the President would still come from the ranks of the MILG, though our government would also have appointees.) 

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.