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“We will work night and day to reach our 1 Million target. We hope through this effort, we will be able to get the listening ears, not only of the President, but also the honorable legislators in Congress.”
— MPC Campaign Officer Maudi Maadil
By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — Over 600,000 and counting have signed up for an online petition to extend the transition phase until 2025 of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) relayed this to SDN — Science & Digital News as the petition seeks at least a million signatures to request President Rodrigo R. Duterte to certify as urgent bills in Congress on the extension of the Bangsamoro’s transition period.
BARMM’s Charter, the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), says the term of office of the appointive officials of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) ends in 2022, which would pave the way for the election of its first batch of elective officials.
But the coronavirus pandemic that started at least in December 2019, among other reasons, has slowed down the implementation of the BTA’s agenda, such as — but not limited to — political and governance structure.
BARMM Parliament Deputy Minority Leader and Vice Chair of of the Committee on Public Order and Safety Suharto Ambdolodto said the BTA’s three-year transition phase was crafted to implement the transition plan, the 12-point Chief Minister’s Agenda, and the Bangsamoro Regional Development Plan (BRDP).
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Ahod Balawag “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim heads the BTA as its interim chief minister. He joined the Bangsamoro Parliament in calling for the extension even as various quarters have also given their support for another three years.
For those who have not yet sign up, you can do it here: GIVE PEACE AND MORAL GOVERNANCE A CHANCE
Earlier, the President through Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque has voiced support for the extension and is willing to “help” convince Congress to amend the law that limits the BTA’s term to only three years — 2019 to 2022.
For the petition the Civil Society Organization Movement for Moral Governance and the MPC jointly launched the petition with signatories coming from as far as Abra, Benguet, Bohol, and Antique in what the organizers described as a “massive show of support.” A total of 620,650 people have already signed the petition titled “Give Peace and Moral Governance a Chance” as of March 4, 2021. It needs 379,350 signatures to reach one million.
Academe joins support for Bangsamoro transition extension
Barely 14 days after its launch on February 10, 2021, the petition garnered 322,409 supporters/signatories.
“Barely two weeks after the signature campaign was launched by the CSO Movement for Moral Governance and the Mindanao Peoples Caucus, netizens from as far as Abra, Benguet, Bohol and Antique have signed up the Petition in a massive show of support to the peace process and in solidarity for the Bangsamoro people,” the organizers said.
The organizers said in a email the petition has gained strong support from academic institutions like the Ateneo de Davao University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, and Xavier University which have established signature booths in their respective campuses.
Over in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, the “Mindanao State University (MSU) System through its President, Dr. Habib Macaayong, also expressed support for the call to extend the transition period in the Bangsamoro and recognized the significant role of President Duterte in order to achieve this legislative agenda,” the email noted.
In relation with this, the MSU has mobilized its 11 campuses all over Mindanao to encourage students to participate in the online petition and make their views heard.
Students from Cotabato City have also mobilized their own ranks to gather as many signatures as possible online. The Cotabato City State Polytechnic College, through its President Dr. Sema Delna has encourage students to make their views heard in this very important transition that will define the future of the Moro people.
“We will work night and day to reach our 1 Million target. We hope through this effort, we will be able to get the listening ears, not only of the President, but also the honorable legislators in Congress”, Maudi Maadil, Campaign Officer of MPC, said.
The internet campaign says:
“A petition humbly requesting President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to certify as urgent Senate bills 2019/2025 and House Bills 8116/8117/8161/8277 that seek to amend Section 13 Article XVI of Republic Act 11054, otherwise known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, for the extension of the transition period and setting the first regular election of the Bangsamoro government to May 2025.” (/)