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By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 | Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — SciTech and Digital News
BULUAN, Maguindanao del Sur, 5th February 2023 (SDN) – Sheikh Khalifa U. Nando, the “Wa’lī” and titular head of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) passed away today, Sunday, at a hospital in Davao City.
“Wali” is an Arabic word means “guardian” or “custodian” or “protector” in English.
A highly respected religious leader among the Maguindanaon tribe, his remains were brought to his house in Barangay Kayaga, a few kilometers from the poblacion (town proper) here.
Nando was a prominent member of the Central Committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Those who had encounters with him (including this journalist) knew him as soft-spoken, gentle and careful with his words, and not known to be loud, among other characteristics and manners.
A multi-vehicle convoy of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim, with other Bangsamoro officials were spotted in Crossing Salbu traversing the national highway going south.
A witness later told SDN — SciTech and Digital News that “CM is here already”. “CM” stands for Chief Minister, head of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) which runs the BARMM government.
Republic Act No. 11054, which established the BARMM as a new political entity (NPE), spelled out the role of the Wali in the Bangsamoro government.
The position of the Wali in the NPE is elective with a term of six years. But the BARMM is in a transition phase and still without election, so the Bangsamoro Parliament appointed Nando as the first Wali on March 29, 2019. He took his oath of office before Ebrahim.
BARMM’s transition period from the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was only three years, until June 30, 2022, but it was extended to another three years until 2025 when a regular election for its elective officials shall be conducted.
The Wali’s functions include the legal ability to perform ceremonial roles, such as moral guardianship of the region; presiding over the Parliament’s opening; administering the oath of office; dissolving the Parliament on the Chief Minister’s advice; calling for election of a new Parliament; and attending public ceremonies.
Along with the late MILF Chairman Sheikh Salamat Hashim, Nando was a classmate of Hashim at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and co-founder of the MILF, together with Abu Hurayra. With the MILF, Nando had many roles, including as chairman of the MILF Central Committee on Education, chairman of the Majlis As-Shura (Consultative Assembly), and head of the MILF Shari’ah Court. (source: Wikipedia)