BARMM lawmakers told to continue working amid Palace memo

By Edwin Fernandez

July 5, 2022, 5:12 pm

<p>Bangsamoro Transition Authority - Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Speaker Pangalian Balindong. <em>(Photo courtesy of BTA-BARMM)</em></p>

Bangsamoro Transition Authority - Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Speaker Pangalian Balindong. (Photo courtesy of BTA-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – An official of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BTA-BARMM) has directed all members of the regional parliament to continue working amid a Palace memorandum order on presidential appointees or co-terminus personnel.  

“BTA members of parliament may continue to hold office and discharge their functions beyond June 30, 2022,” BTA Speaker Pangalian Balindong said in his July 4 memorandum to all BTA members.

“This office holds that by Republic Act No. 11593, notwithstanding the end of the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, all members of the BTA parliament are allowed to continue in office and discharge their official functions, duties, and responsibilities, consistent with the intentions of the law until June 30, 2025,” he said.

Balindong added: “This is without prejudice to the constitutionally-granted power of the current President to appoint a new set of BTA parliament within his term.”

Former President Duterte approved the postponement of the BARMM elections to May 2025 by approving Republic Act 11593, which extended the transition period of the fledgling region for three more years or until June 30, 2025.

The BARMM transition would have ended on June 30 this year since its formation in 2019. On the same day, however, Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez issued Memorandum Circular 1 that generated confusion among BTA members and BARMM legal staff.

The MC1 declared as vacant “certain positions in the departments, offices, agencies, and bureaus in the Executive Department” effective noon of June 30, including “all Presidential appointees whose appointments are classified as co-terminus.”

But Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, a lawyer, clarified BARMM is not covered by MC1.

“We are an autonomous region with an asymmetric relation with the national government,” Sinarimbo said.

“The BTA, as the parliament combines the legislative and executive powers of the Bangsamoro government and is not under the executive,” he said.

Meanwhile, the regular session of the BTA resumed Tuesday at the BARMM center here. (PNA)