By Keith Bacongco
DAVAO CITY – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Information Committee chief Mohagher Iqbal relayed to Manila Bulletin that President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to name the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in Malacañang on Wednesday.
The BTA, which will be likely headed by MILF Chair Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim as Chief Minister, will govern the newly formed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during a three-year transition.
Aside from top MILF officials, Iqbal disclosed that the front’s 41 nominees would include five lawyers, four women, a Christian, a representative from the indigenous people community, two Filipino-Chinese businessmen, two traditional leader, and some religious leaders.
He said that the MILF submitted to the President the list of nominees early December.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has also submitted 39 nominees to the Office of the President.
Aside from the 80 BTA members who will be appointed by Duterte, the new body will also be composed of elected government officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as provided under Article 16, Section 2 of the Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
However, incumbent ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman has announced in November last year that he will not take part in the transition body, saying that he will instead focus on his candidacy as for the lone congressional seat in his home province of Basilan.
The MILF also clarified that a list of its nominees, which mostly contain the group’s ranking officials, that spread through social media was was unofficial.
Iqbal had earlier admitted that running a government is different from running a revolutionary organization.
He added that BTA task will never be easy as it is expected to ensure a smooth transition from ARMM to BARMM.
“Governance is different from running a revolutionary struggle,” Iqbal said in earlier interviews with Manila Bulletin. “Mas mahirap ang governance especially when you look at transition period. Three years, isusulat mo yung mga codes. Uubos yan ng oras.”
Under the Section 4 of Article XVI of the (BOL), the BTA is tasked to “enact priority legislations such as the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, Bangsamoro Revenue Code, Bangsamoro Electoral Code, Bangsamoro Local Government Code, and Bangsamoro Education Code.”