Mindanao CSOs calls PBBM for BTA Extension until 2028

(A call for extending the Bangsamoro Transition Authority until 2028)

COTABATO CITY (April 26, 2024) – The Bangsamoro people were excited to see the upcoming visit of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that will show support for his leadership and convey the request for the extension of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) from 2025 to 2028.

The Spokesperson of Mindanao Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Call for BTA Extension Mahdie Amella told to radio and online platform program of DXJC 92.1 Voice FM Cotabato with the edition of ‘Mapiya Mapita Bangsamoro’, that they received a piece of information that there are three (3) areas to visit by President Marcos Jr. in BARMM on Monday, April 29, 2024.

Amella said that they will be holding a Roadside Rally to express their request for BTA Extension, from Awang, Maguindanao del Norte, Cotabato City going to Barira, Maguindanao del Norte by which the President Cabinet members will use these routes. Another group will be gathering peacefully along Midsayap, and Pikit road in North Cotabato.

“Su mga pagali tanu ah Bangsamoro a pid support sa Peace Agreement na Gobyerno na Pilipinas anan enggu su Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), katawan nu den e bagitungen tanu anya a p’g extend paluman su BTA anya iganat sa 2025 taman sa 2028 na aden bangadinin tanu a masla a kababagilay sa support kanu President,” said in local vernacular.

Amella also said that there will be a caravan of 1000 vehicles from Cotabato City that will go to Barira where President Marcos Jr. is expected to visit some of the projects in Camp Abubakar, while community members in North Cotabato will traverse to Pigcawayan, Libungan, Midsayap, Alesoan going to Pikit, specifically in Maridagao.

There will be a mass gathering of community and CSOs in Camp Abubakar, and in Maridagao where the government’s irrigation project is located, which is the target area for the President to visit said Amella.

Amella said, while the supporters will gather, there will be no speeches from the supporters and just purely a peaceful assembly with placards expressing their requests to President Marcos Jr. for another extension of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. He added that this initiative is supported by the League of Bangsamoro Organizations (LBO) and the Mindanao Peoples’ Caucus (MPC) once asked for a BTA extension until 2025.

The Mindanao CSO call for the BTA extension spokesperson said that among of the many reasons why they are calling for an extension are the signed agreed documents by the Philippine government and the MILF were not fully implemented. This includes amnesty, materializing the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation system where not yet in place, and full implementation of the normalization track.

Amella stressed that this will give way for both parties to implement what has been agreed in the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB) and a smooth signing of the exit agreement upon completely implementing the agreed documents.

The current administration, however, Amella recalled that two years ago is firm on no more additional extensions, and the first Bangsamoro parliament election will be taking place in BARMM by 2025 but they are hoping that they can be heard again because of the valid reasons they have presented. (Sahara A. Saban, BMN/BangsamoroToday)

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