BARMM seeks ‘representation’ in Anti-Terror Council

By Noel Punzalan

July 6, 2020, 6:55 pm

COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has expressed full support to the newly-enacted Anti-Terrorism Law 2020 and is seeking for a “representation” in the Anti-Terror Council (ATC).

“The BARMM, being a government itself, fully respects this decision of the President,” said BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim in a statement released Saturday, a day after the signing of the anti-terror law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on July 3, 2020.

Murad said there is no single way of addressing the threats of terrorism, which is an evolving discourse globally, and that BARMM is open to engaging the national government on preparedness against the vicious phenomenon.

“This engagement can start with the Bangsamoro having representation in the ATC,” Ebrahim said, without elaborating.

Section 45 of the law states that ATC members are composed of the Executive Secretary as chairperson; the National Security Adviser as vice-chairperson; and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs; the Secretary of National Defense; the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government; the Secretary Finance; the Secretary of Justice; the Secretary of Information and Communications Technology; and the Executive Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat.

Ebrahim said the Bangsamoro government recognizes the need for a strong policy direction on the fight against terrorism, and that they trust the President will ensure that the concerns and apprehensions of the Bangsamoro people on some provisions of the law "will not happen."

“Rest assured that we will support the implementation of the law and commit to continue the conversation within the Bangsamoro, in our effort to provide the national government realistic context from the ground,” Ebrahim said. (PNA)