BARMM parliament names new ceremonial head

By Edwin Fernandez

May 13, 2024, 9:30 pm

<p><em>(Image courtesy of BARMM PIO)</em></p>

(Image courtesy of BARMM PIO)

COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) approved a resolution on Monday afternoon appointing a foreign-educated Islamic preacher as the "wali" (ceremonial head) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government.

During a special session of the BTA presided over by Deputy Speaker Omar Yasser Sema, the 80-member regional parliament unanimously approved Sheik Muslim Guiamaden's nomination as the BARMM "wali."

The duties of Guamaden will include inaugurating parliament sessions, administering oaths of office and attending public events.

Moreover, the wali holds essential powers, such as dissolving the parliament upon the BARMM chief minister's advice in the event of a vote of no confidence against the regional government, and calling for new elections.

Guiamaden was born on Sept. 20, 1963 in Buluan, Maguindanao del Sur, and graduated from Jamiah Islamiyah (Islamic University) of Madinah Munawwara.

He also served at the Shariah Supreme Court in Camp Abubakar Assidiq, the former encampment of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Maguindanao del Norte, and underwent military training in Pakistan.

During a recent international event in Qatar where the issue of Muslims in the southern Philippines was discussed, Guiamaden was sent as the official MILF representative.

Guiamaden was one of the two nominees for the position.  

Dr. Muhammad Nadzer Ebil, another nominee, begged off and expressed his support for Guiamaden's appointment.

Based on the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 11054, the law that created the BARMM, the wali of Bangsamoro is the ceremonial head of the Bangsamoro within the Philippines.

Guiamaden will serve for a fixed six-year term under RA 11054.

Sheik Khalifa Nando, the first "wali" or spiritual custodian and guardian of the BARMM and one of the MILF founders, died on Feb. 6, 2023.

Nando, who was appointed to the post by the BTA parliament in 2019, died in a hospital in Davao City. He was 82.

On May 14, Guiamaden will open the regular session of the parliament at the BARMM government center in this city. (PNA)