A measure resetting to 2025 the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) elections initially set in 2022 has hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives.
This came after the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, Committee on Muslim Affairs and Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity jointly approved the draft substitute bill postponing for three years the first regular BARMM elections during a virtual meeting on Thursday.
The approved measure was a consolidation of House Bills 8116, 8117, 8161, 8222 and 8277.
Authors of the consolidated bills are Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu, Lanao del Norte Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo and Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab.
The bill proposes that the BARMM elections, originally scheduled on the second Monday of May 2022, would be reset to 2025.
Mangudadatu, who chairs the Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, clarified that the provision fixing the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) members until 2025 does not necessarily mean that whoever gets appointed would automatically enjoy their present term until the afternoon of June 30, 2025.
He said the next President would be the appointing authority and would have the discretion on the term of office of the appointed BTA member.
Mangudadatu said the current BARMM and the national government have yet to fully deliver the goods provided in the CAB and organic law.
The former three-termer Maguindanao governor believes that had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, the foundation of BARMM shall have been laid down perfectly.