MILF submits list of nominees for members of Bangsamoro government

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has submitted to Malacañang its list of nominees to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), MILF chief Murad Ebrahim told Rappler.

"We have completed the 41 nominees already and submitted to the Office of the President and we made sure there is geographical representation and the sectoral representation also," he said during a Rappler Talk interview  on Tuesday, January 22.

 MILF peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal told Rappler that the list was submitted a week before the Bangsamoro plebiscite on January 21.

As of posting, there is no official result yet on whether or not the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) will be ratified.

The BTA will be created only when the BOL is ratified.  It is the entity that will govern the Bangsamoro Automomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from 2019 until elections in 2022.

In the BOL, the MILF is supposed to get a majority of the 80-seats in the BTA as it had been tasked with “leading” the transition process. The remaining 39 seats will be filled by appointees chosen primarily by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Iqbal also said the nominees include 5 women, one Christian, and one member of an ethnic group. Meanwhile Murad said he remembered at least 3 women on the list, one Christian, and "one or two" members from indigenous peoples communities.

The BTA will be a powerful body since it will have the power to legislate and implement laws. Starting 2020, it will also receive the annual block grant for BARMM, as laid out in the BOL. This assured funding is expected to amount to around P60 billion. 

It will likely be Murad who will be chosen as interim Chief Minister, or the head of the BTA. He has said the BTA, under his watch, will prioritize education, medical services, social services, and infrastructure in the BARMM. 

Iqbal said that the BTA’s first step upon formation will be the passing of foundational laws such as a legislative code, administrative code, and local government code. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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