PEACE ADVOCATE. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is flanked by Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim (2nd from right) and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (2nd from left) during the oath taking of the new appointed Bangsamoro Transition Authority - BARMM officials in Malacañang on Aug. 12, 2022. The 80-member BTA-BARMM parliament will serve the transition body up to 2025. (Malacañang photo)

COTABATO CITY – Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) expressed his gratitude to the new administration for its support of the Mindanao peace process.

“We are deeply grateful to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for understanding the importance of our work during the extension of the transition period, and for assuring that we can install a bureaucracy that can address the needs of our people for generations to come,” Ebrahim said in his message aired in local radio stations Tuesday.

Ebrahim said Marcos was instrumental in ensuring that the new Bangsamoro Transition Authority is "composed of meaningful representation from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, sectoral groups, and other important stakeholders across the region."

This alone, he said, makes the BTA parliament "a chamber for all voices to be heard.”

Ebrahim and 29 other Moro and non-Moro leaders appointed by President Marcos took their oath before the President in Malacañang on Aug. 12.

Ebrahim lauded the President for uniting various revolutionary groups together with other sectors as representatives of Bangsamoro in one chamber.

Under the Bangsamoro Organic Law that created the new political entity, the BTA is an executive and legislative body tasked to oversee the transition from 2019 to 2022 and later extended until 2025.

Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez said the speech of the President and his actions toward the Mindanao peace process “demonstrates the President's strong resolve and firm commitment to move forward the Bangsamoro peace process.”

“Through your [Pres. Marcos] decisive action, you are ensuring the completion of the implementation of all signed Bangsamoro peace agreements, which is the centerpiece of your administration’s peace policy agenda,” he added.
 
Data from BTA showed that 31 of the appointed members are new and 49 were incumbent and reappointed members of the parliament.

Most of them are lawyers, lawyer-certified public accountants, engineers, teachers, doctors, architects, media practitioners, politicians, former local elected officials, government bureaucrats, and religious clerics.

The addition of three more women to the 80-member BTA has increased their representation to 16.

“As we continue our duties in the interim government, we join the President’s call towards national unity and set aside whatever differences that divide us,” Ebrahim said. (PNA)