By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – President Duterte has named a new member of the Bangsamoro parliament, replacing a member of the regional legislature who passed away recently, officials confirmed over the weekend.
The President signed the appointment of Abdullah Biston Hashim last February 11. The letter of appointment, alongside a transmittal letter from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, was received late Friday by the office of Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim, according to fellow parliament member Abdulraof Macacua.
The appointee is the son of the late Ustaz Salamat Hashim, founding chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who died in Butig, Lanao del Sur on July 13, 2003, said Macacua, concurrent regional executive secretary.
Ebrahim, Hashim’s successor in the MILF hierarchy, had reportedly endorsed his predecessor’s son to take the place of lawyer Abdul Mangelen Dataya Sr., who died of heart ailment at a Davao City hospital on July 9, 2019 at the age of 65.
Fellow parliament members backed the endorsement in a resolution forwarded to Malacanang last September, it was learned.
They had earlier passed a separate resolution conveying their condolences for the death of Dataya as they cited his exploits in the decades of struggle for self-determination that led to the birth of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) under Republic Act 11054.
The law, enacted by Congress in July 2018, translated the two major peace accords forged by the MILF with the government in 2013 and 2014. It abolished the 29-year old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for the advent of BARMM following the law’s ratification in the January 21 and February 6, 2019 plebiscites.
The 80-seat BARMM Parliament honored Dataya for his secretarial services to late Senator Salipada Pendatun and late Empire Cotabato Governor Datu Udtog Matalam as well as MILF Chairman Hashim.
Prior to his appointment in the BARMM parliament, Dataya had also served as head of the MILF Ad Hoc Joint Action Group and the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) for Maguindanao. UPCJ is the MILF’s official political party.
Abdullah Cusain, Ebrahim’s deputy executive secretary, said they were confident that Hashim would be able to live up to the ideals of his late MILF founder-father and those of his predecessor Dataya.