Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) is expecting anxieties and misinformation being experienced by the Bangsamoro people to “settle down” following the recent oath-taking of new members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).

In a Laging Handa public briefing, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the appointments of the new BTA members are expected to usher in a period of peace in the region.

“Iyong mga tinatawag nating anxieties at saka iyong nakikita nating misinformation sa baba, it will settle down…Unang-una, iyong pagtalima po ng ating mahal na Pangulo sa tinatawag po natin na spirit of the negotiation at saka iyong ating peace process, ang kaniya pong pagka-decisive to really implement iyong ating obligations with the Bangsamoro, iyon po ay nagpalaki ng ating tinatawag na kumpiyansa lalung-lalo na sa ating mga kapatid na mga Muslim (What we call anxieties and then what we see as misinformation, it will settle down…First of all, our dear President's adherence to what we call the spirit of the negotiation and then our peace process, his decisiveness to really implement our obligations with the Bangsamoro, that increased our so-called confidence especially in our Muslim brothers and sisters),” Galvez said.

He said the diplomatic corps will also have renewed confidence in the government’s sincerity to complete the peace process.

“Ang ating mga diplomatic corps ay nagkaroon din ng kumpiyansa dahil talaga pong nakita nila ang gobyerno ay talagang very faithful at saka sincere na talagang mapanatili ang kapayapaan dito sa ating bansa at magkaroon ng tinatawag na unity at reconciliation na maganap dito po sa ating Bangsamoro after the election (Our diplomatic corps also gained confidence because they really saw that the government is very faithful and sincere to really maintain peace in our country and have the so-called unity and reconciliation that will take place here in our Bangsamoro after the election),” he added.

With the appointment of new BTA members, Galvez said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos expects the governing body to work “double time” to complete their work since there will no longer be any extensions.

“Ang kanya pong mensahe sa ating BTA members, including kay [interim] chief minister [Ahod Ebrahim] ay talagang mag double time po sila dahil sinabi nga niya na itong three-year extension ay napakaigsi at least mapabuti po nila at magawa po nila yung mga fundamental laws at saka legislation at saka codes (His message to the BTA members, including chief minister is to work double time because this three-year extension is too short and they need to work well to pass fundamental laws and legislation and codes),” he said.

Galvez also welcomed Marcos’ commitment to fully support the BARMM and take on a “system-solving” approach to achieving a successful peace process.

“He [Marcos] is very immersed [in] what is happening now and I hope that iyong sinasabi po natin na nagsimula sa kanyang ama ang peace process ay hopefully ay magkakaroon ng realization at full success sa kanya pong panahon ng Marcos administration sa darating po na anim na taon (what we are saying is the peace process that started with his father will hopefully be realized and have full success during his time, under the Marcos administration in the next six years),” Galvez said.

The peace process with the Bangsamoro started with the signing of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairperson Nur Misuari during the term of Marcos' father and namesake, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

The BTA is the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

It is an 80-member governing body tasked to pass crucial legislations to operationalize the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and exercise legislative and executive powers during the region’s transition period.

The BOL specifies that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) shall lead the BTA, without prejudice to the participation of the MNLF.

The BTA’s 41 members shall be nominated by the MILF, while the remaining 39 members shall be endorsed by the government.

The ratification of the Republic Act No. (RA) 11054 or the BOL through a plebiscite held in 2019 paved the way for the creation of the BARMM, as well as the establishment of the BTA.

In 2021, former President Rodrigo Duterte signed RA 11593 which postponed elections in BARMM that was scheduled to be held this year, and consequently, extending the transition period of the BTA to 2025. (PNA)