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Probe of Bangsamoro transition status urged

COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao, Philippines — Sen. Ralph Recto has sought an inquiry into the status of the Bangsamoro transition, five months after an interim regional government was established by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Recto filed Senate Resolution No. 30 that directed the Senate committee on local government to do the inquiry on the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) “with the end in view of ensuring that the provisions of the law are satisfied and implemented.”

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BTA members appointed

The President organized the interim regional government on Feb. 22 by appointing members to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) who will serve until June 30, 2022, when the first duly elected parliament members hold office.

This came one month after the BOL was ratified during the Jan. 21 plebiscite.

Clarity

“It is imperative for Congress to determine the status of the transition and ensure that the funding requirements as provided for in the BOL are appropriated and released by the national government,” Recto added.

Lawyer Lanang Ali, majority floor leader in the interim parliament, disclosed that the Senate committee on local government has tentatively scheduled a meeting based on the resolution on Aug. 14.

Ali said it was better to have such conversation with the national government to clarify matters.

Last month, a Bangsamoro executive called on the President to ensure the release of fund commitments by the national government to finance the interim regional government’s operations.

Another interim parliament member said that in the last four months, the BTA has buckled down to work to smoothen the transition process and lay the foundations for a truly meaningful Moro self-rule.

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Lawyer Omar Yasser Sema revealed that as of June 30, the BTA has held 10 sessions — nine regular and one special — and passed 30 resolutions.

Unfilled seats

These resolutions included a request for the national government to release and transfer P1.5 billion in transition fund, and the adoption of the P10-billion public works spending law earlier firmed up by the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which is backed by national funds.

Sema noted that up to today, the 80-member BTA is not complete as five seats are still unfilled. —With a report from Ryan Rosauro

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Organic Law, Bangsamoro Transition Authority, BTA, Ralph Recto, Rodrigo Duterte
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