MILF-led BTA formally assumes post in Bangsamoro region
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)-led Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) formally assumed on Tuesday the post to administer the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman turned over the leadership of the region to BTA Chief Minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the MILF, in a ceremony held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City.
BARMM has replaced ARMM.
"I appeal to all our people for your support. Give us the chance to turn into reality our aspirations," Murad said in a speech.
“We are now entering another level of our jihad…our jihad will be more intense and more challenging…our jihad firstly against our own selves.. We with our enemy in addition to already enumerated enemies now,'' he added.
All the ills in the governance of the system..our enemy is graft and corruption..our enemy is manipulation of government..Our enemy nepotism..all those ills of the government,” he said.
Murad urged the public to support them in their new struggle.
''You supported for more than 40 years.. we look forward to everyone to support us in our next level of our jihad. We know that without your support, we will not succeed in our jihad,” he said.
Murad named Abdul Sahrin from the Moro National Liberation Front and Aleem Ali Solaiman as his two deputies.
Former deputy peace Adviser Nabil Tan, who also took his oath of office as member of the BTA, in a text message said Sahrin is deputy minister for the island provinces, covering Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu, while Solaiman is the deputy minister from the mainland, including Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and other BARMM areas.
He said 11 Cabinet ministers were named.
These include MILF peace panel's Mohagher Iqbal (education), Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces chief of staff Sammy Al-Mansour (environment and natural resources, energy), MILF Central Committee member Edward Guerra (finance and budget management), and Bangsamoro Transition Commissioner Raissa Jajurie (social services).
MILF vice chair for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar was named as the speaker of the parliament, while Naguib Sinarimbo will be the minister for the local government. Murad will hold his concurrent position as the public works minister.
So far, the 80-member BTA has not yet been completed. A source said that BTA has "74-75" members.
President Rodrigo Duterte administered the oath of office of the BTA members led by Murad in a ceremony in Malaca?ang on February 22.
However, there were voices of discontent.
Emmanuel Fontanilla, spokesperson of MNLF founder Nur Misuari, said over last weekend they will not recognize the BTA since they were not part of the transition body.
Misuari said he would establish a new faction in protest of what he called a “virtual dictatorship” by the Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group, questioning its ability to govern a new autonomous region.
A religious Muslim leader, Firdausi Abbas, said they will establish a new faction in protest of the MILF’s “virtual dictatorship” in BARMM. Celerina Monte/DMS