MANILA – President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Friday led the mass oath-taking of the new members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
The oath-taking ceremony held at Malacañang Palace was shared by presidential son and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos on his official Facebook page.
Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez and Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles also confirmed the oath-taking of new BTA members.
United Nations Resident Coordinator to the Philippines, Gustavo González, attended the oath-taking rites, Rodriguez said.
The list of BTA members was uploaded on the official Facebook page of the Bangsamoro government. It contains the names of 80 appointees, including Ahod Ebrahim who was tapped as BTA interim chief minister.
"President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. administers the oath-taking ceremony of the following newly appointed Members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament for 2022-2025 at the Malacañan Palace today, August 12, 2022," the Facebook post read.
The new BTA composition is dominated by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with 41 nominees and 39 from the government, according to the statement released by its Public Information, Publication and Media Relations Division.
Under Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the BTA "shall be the interim government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during the transition period," with legislative and executive powers and functions of the Bangsamoro government.
The BOL also states that the MILF shall lead the BTA, without prejudice to the participation of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in its membership.
The BTA shall be composed of 80 members who shall be appointed by the President -- 41 from the MILF and 39 from the Philippine government.
In his speech, Marcos emphasized the need to "give a voice to all the stakeholders, to all the parties that are involved."
"It is an important day for us to be here and to swear into office the members of the Transition Authority that has in front of it a great of deal of work to do. In our discussions, what was important was that we were able to say that we have done our absolute best in making sure that the representation that we filed in the Transition Authority would be as fair as it has to be," he said.
Marcos was elated that the BTA is composed of members whose intent is to promote peace and development in the Bangsamoro region.
Given the unification of the MILF and MNLF, Marcos expressed confidence that forging a "good" pact would help BARMM return to the "normal fold of life in the Philippines" and encourage the Bangsamoro government to attain the goal of bringing "progress for our people."
"Everyone needs to speak up because there is very important work in front of the Transition Authority. The important work I refer to, I am sure you are aware of, is quite simply the enactment of the basic laws that will guide and that will rule in the Bangsamoro provinces," he said.
Marcos acknowledged that while the BTA is given another chance to serve until 2025, three years are "not a long time" to pass "basic and fundamental and highly important pieces of legislation" for the development of the Bangsamoro region.
"One of those especially is the Basic Law on the local governments. How do we define the constituencies? How do we define the hierarchies within those constituencies? What is the relationship between the local and, shall we say, the central authority? Those are the things that have to be defined," he said.
Clear rules for 2025 polls
Marcos emphasized the importance of establishing "clear" rules for the conduct of elections in the BARMM in 2025.
He said he wants to make sure that there would be an "orderly and proper election in 2025."
"In 2025, we no longer will have any extensions to the authority and we will conduct elections. We must have very clear rules on the conduct of those elections," Marcos said. "And upon electing our new officials, that they have a framework, a legal framework to work within so that the government can actually function. And so, these are the different elements that I think that we have to keep in mind."
Marcos advised the BTA members to remain "passionate" and brace themselves for the possible mudslinging of their opponents.
"The contributions that I foresee that we will get from BARMM and the peace that BARMM brings with it, I think that that is going to finally fulfill the promise of the promised land that we have been hoping for so very, very long," he said.
The BTA media affairs' press statement said the new members are lawyers, lawyer-certified public accountants, engineers, teachers, doctors, architects, media practitioners, politicians, former elected officials at the local levels, and government bureaucrats.
They are the representatives from the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi, as well as members of the Bangsamoro community in North Cotabato, indigenous peoples who are not Moro, the Kalagan or Kagan community in Davao Oriental, and Christian or settler communities in Davao City and Cotabato City.
The BTA is tasked with producing results that will address a variety of challenges, including peace and security concerns, poverty reduction, business and job creation, and stability between ethnic clans and economic classes.
In 2021, former president Rodrigo Duterte signed a law moving the date of the first regular BARMM parliamentary and regional elections to May 2025.
The 80 appointees:
1. Ahod Balawag Ebrahim
2. Akmad Indigay Abas
3. Haron Muhammad Abas
4. Basit Sarip Abbas
5. Mudjib Compania Abu
6. Laisa Masuhud Alamia
7. Mosber Entol Alauddin
8. Ibrahim Dumaraag Ali
9. Lanang Tapodoc Ali Jr.
10. Eddie Mapag Alih
11. Suharto Mastura Ambolodto
12. Abdulaziz Mangandaki Amenodin
13. Baintan Adil Ampatuan
14. Susana Salvador Anayatin
15. Mohammad Kelie Ugalingan Antao
16. Mary Ann Madroño Arnado
17. Dan Sala Asnawie
18. Ali Montaha Datu Haron Babao
19. Pangalian Macaorao Balindong
20. Anna Tarhata Sumande Basman
21. Bai Maleiha Bajunaid Candao
22. Hashemi Nur Dilangalen
23. Sha Elijah Biruar Dumama-Alba
24. Suharto Sandayan Esmael
25. Matarul Matarul Estino
26. Abdullah Ebus Gayak
27. Eduard Uy Guerra
28. Khalid Ma-amor Hadji Abdullah
29. Abdullah Biston Hashim
30. Hatimil Esmail Hassan
31. Rasul Enderez Ismael
32. Mohagher Mohammad Iqbal
33. Raissa Herradura Jajurie
34. Muslimin Asalim Jakilan
35. Albakil Dasani Jikiri
36. Denmartin Abdukahil Kahalan
37. Faisal Guiabar Karon
38. John Antony Lacbao Lim
39. Benjamin Tupay Loong
40. Don Mustapha Arbison Loong
41. Jose Iribani Lorena
42. Abdulraof Abdul Macacua
43. Abdullah Goldiano Macapaar
44. Marjanie Salic Macasalong
45. Amroussi Ampuan Macatanong
46. Tarhata Matalam Maglangit
47. Hamid Uddin Malik
48. Baileng Simpal Mantawil
49. Ishak Veloso Mastura
50. Jaafar Apollo Mikhail Lintongan Matalam
51. Amilbahar Saddalani Mawallil
52. Froilyn Tenorio Mendoza
53. Michael Enit Midtimbang
54. Tawakal Buga Midtimbang
55. Abdulkarim Tan Misuari
56. Nurredha Ibrahim Misuari
57. Rasol Yap Mitmug Jr.
58. Hussein Palma Muñoz
59. Abdulwahab Mohammad Pak
60. Randolph Climaco Parcasio
61. Ramon Alejandro Piang Sr.
62. Suwaib Latip Oranon
63. Ubaida Casad Pacasem
64. Nabila Margarita Pacasum Pangandaman
65. Diamla Disimban Ramos
66. Said Zamahsari Salendab
67. Ali Omar Salik
68. Ali Balayman Sangki
69. Omar Yasser Crisostomo Sema
70. Romeo Kabuntalan Sema
71. Said Manggis Shiek
72. Aida Macalimpas Silongan
73. Ali Bangcola Solaiman
74. Kadil Monera Sinolinding Jr.
75. Paisalin Pangandaman Tago
76. Nabil Alfad Tan
77. Adzfar Hailid Usman
78. Bassir Dimaukom Utto
79. Sittie Fahanie Sindatok Uy-Oyod
80. Mohammad Shuaib Yacob (PNA)