BARMM parliament member dies
COTABATO CITY –– A parliament member of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) died of illness in a Davao City hospital Tuesday morning, July 9.
Abdullah Cusain, deputy executive secretary of BARMM chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, said Abdul Dataya, 65, succumbed to a heart ailment around 11 a.m. Tuesday while confined at the Davao Doctors Hospital.
“Right now, flags are flown at half-staff inside the BARMM compound as the whole BARMM mourn the passing of MP Dataya,” Cusain said in a phone interview.
A lawyer, the Maguindanaon Dataya was one of 41 nominees of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) named by President Duterte to the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the interim BARMM parliament.
The MILF nominees mostly included aging revolutionaries who fought for Bangsamoro self-determination, whether in the battlefields or in the negotiating table.
The establishment of the BARMM capped some two decades of political negotiations between the MILF and the central government on how to give shape to Moro self-governance aspirations.
A longtime Moro mujahideen, Dataya hails from Barangay Cudal in Pagalungan, Maguindanao, the birthplace of MILF founding chair Salamat Hashim.
Aside from his parliament duties, Dataya was also the executive director for Maguindanao of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), the political arm of the MILF.
He was chair of the MILF contingent in the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group, one of the ceasefire mechanisms.
Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan, BARMM health minister, described Dataya as “a man of honor and integrity.”
“His passing away is a big loss for us,” he added.
Dataya is the second BTA member to die in office. In March, Ghazali Jaafar, MILF vice chair for political affairs, died of cardiovascular illness.
Jaafar, 76, was the BTA’s designated Speaker but he died before he could preside over the inaugural session of the interim parliament. (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)
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