Groups reiterate call for passage of bill extending Bangsamoro transition

AS THE country observed Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice on Tuesday, the second most important festival in Islam, groups supporting the extension of the transition period in the Bangsamoro region reiterated their call for lawmakers to act on the necessary legislative amendment.

The Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. — a network of more than 250 faith-based groups, non-governmental organizations, and people’s organizations — teamed up with the UNDP-trained Insider Mediators Group for a forum highlighting the need to postpone the 2022 parliamentary elections in the regions.

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo, one of the speakers at the forum, explained the long list of “essential work during transition” that remains unfinished.

He said extending the transition period, which has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, would help “level the playing field” for all potential BARMM leaders when elections are postponed to 2025.

In a separate statement, civic group One Bangsamoro Movement appealed to President Rodrigo R. Duterte to certify as urgent the proposed measures extending the term of the BARMM transition body.

Presidential Spokesperson Herminio L. Roque, Jr. earlier said the President has taken a neutral stance on the proposal “and will let Congress fully discuss the matter and to decide accordingly.”

Mr. Duterte, in his message on the Eid’l Adha celebration, said he stands in solidarity with the Filipino Muslim community in pursuing the shared goal of “building a society that transcends religious, political and cultural barriers.”

“This significant occasion continues to serve as a testament to the unyielding faith of the Muslim community,” Mr. Duterte said in his message. “Its narrative remains a fervent reminder to people that, even amidst life’s difficulties and challenges, our sacrifices have profound value and meaning.” — Marifi S. Jara and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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