COTABATO CITY (March 10, 2023) – Two members of Parliament of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) namely Hon. Nabil A. Tan, Deputy Speaker and Atty. Sha Elijah Dumama – Alba, Majority Floor Leader, said during a pres conference that they manifested their commitment to peace by supporting the passage of the Bangsamoro Electoral Code.
The two parliamentarians faced the media personalities during the presscon held at Executive Lounge, BTA Building, Bangsamoro Government Center on March 9, 2023 which was facilitated by Media Communication Team in person of Jamalleah Benito Dimaporo.
Hon. Tan, explained that the code which has been passed by the BTA members was more substantial, far from its original version.
He said the law makers have taken into consideration comments and recommendations of different stakeholders and that it has complied all the parameters of the Philippine Constitution, National laws related to election and of the Republic Act 11054 also known as Bangsamoro Organic Law.
One clarification raised by the media practitioners was all about the separate legislation on District Parliament.
Tan said that the legislation on the matter will be set in a separate legislation to be passed so that they can focus on both. He believes that the Bangsamoro Code is not only a parliamentary district, it is a functional, structural and procedural.
“Redistricting most likely will be referred to Committee on Rules” Atty. Alba said, and she explained that “the legislation to the districting will be conducted separately from the electoral code in order to give focus to the substance of electoral code.”
She added, “The decisions inside the parliament was being done in a collective manner.”
Daisy Mangod of RMN DXMY asked, “What will happen now if the code is passed?”
Atty. Alba replied, “The necessary next step to be done is to publish the code to make it fully in effect. And let’s not be surprised, if there will be a series of information and dissemination campaign on the material pertaining to voter’s education not only from the Bangsamoro Government, or from Parliament or in Schools, but also from Civil Society Organizations. After this, the districting and other laws may be next to legislate.”
She also added, “Since they have laid down the requirements to comply for the election on 2025, the parties will start to grow and form and try to comply with the requirements so the interest of the people will sure be called by the passage of this code.
“Nasa kamay na ng tao, andito na ang instrumento to exercise yung pagboto sa 2025 para piliin kung sino ang maging representante sa Bangsamoro Parliament (It is in the hands of the people, the instrument is here to exercise the voting in 2025 to choose who will be the representative in the Bangsamoro Parliament),” she elucidated further.
The legislator reiterated that it is in the hands of the people to understand and exercise the right to vote and on how to do it according to the Bangsamoro Electoral Code.
Other issues raised from Bangsamoro Multimedia Network (BMN), represented by the writer, was the distinction between a principled political party to Parliament and how the masses will understand the differences.
Tan answered, “The distinction is an objective statement of purpose to have a principled political party, which has been a clamor of people where people could it work because it is not a personality based, kailangan magtatag ng party (the party must be firm).”
“At ang kailangan sa batas na ito (and what is needed in this law), this provides to the structural, functional and procedural para tumugma sa (so it will match with) election laws because the present Omnibus Code does not provide for a parliamentary election,” he explained.
“In the whole of Philippines, the Bangsamoro will be the only region to become a parliamentary in system which will be under the unitary presidential form of government,” the deputy speaker of BTA added.
Tan said they work closely with the COMELEC Study Group to create structure like the Bangsamoro Electoral Office (BEO).
Atty. Alba said, “A genuinely principled political party based on its ideologies, kung saan nakaka-relate ang tao sa plataporma ng isang party bilang mga botante (where people relate to a party’s platform as voters).”
She added how important it is to change the mind set of people because they want to the electorate make and feel more mature in terms of giving them a selection if where they can relate as voters.
In support to the statement of the Deputy Speaker Tan, she said it is stated in the Bangsamoro Electoral Code that there will be electoral office, but it is only converted from COMELEC BARMM to as “Bangsamoro Electoral Office.”
“Pero part pa rin siya ng National COMELEC but merun siyang Bangsamoro Registration and Accreditation Committee (BRAC) kung saan lahat ng political parties ay magregister in order to participate (But it is still part of the National COMELEC and it has a Bangsamoro Registration and Accreditation Committee (BRAC) where all political parties must register in order to participate),” he further explained.
In support to Tan’s explanation, Atty. Alba said, “COMELEC will have to do something about the BRAC and make sure that it is working kasi dadagsain ang political party assuming na maabot yung 10,000 membership.”
She explained that, “BRAC is a mechanism which is a COMELEC in nature that powers and functions is consistent to COMELEC Resolution No. 28-0380.” ### (Faydiyah Samanodi Akmad/BMN/BangsamoroToday, Photo courtesy BTA Facebook)