Oath Taking of Bangsamoro Transition Gov’t members moved to later date

CARMEN, COTABATO — The schedule of oath-taking of the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) has been moved to Friday, February 22, an official of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and nominee to the interim body said.

BTA is the body that would serve as an interim government of the Bangsamoro autonomous region before its first regular election in 2022.

Mohagher Iqbal, peace panel chair of the MILF, told the Inquirer last night that the oath-taking, along with the ceremonial confirmation of the canvass results of the plebiscite that ratified the Bangsamoro Organic Law, had been moved to another date.

But Iqbal, who was among the MILF members nominated to the BTA, did not give any reason for the postponement. The oath-taking was earlier set on February 20 at the Heroes Hall in Malaca?ang Palace.

MILF nominees to the BTA left Central Mindanao for Manila on February 19 aboard commercial flights while their families and other guests took C130 and C295 planes of the Philippine Air Force.

The BTA will govern the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao until the election of the regular members of the Bangsamoro Parliament in 2022.

BTA members will be appointed by President Duterte. It will be composed of 80 members and will be led by a chief minister and two deputy chief ministers.

The incumbent elected officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will also be part of the BTA until June 30, 2019, when their term ends.

President Duterte has yet to announce the members of the BTA.

Iqbal said Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim, the chair of the MILF, will act as the interim chief minister during the transition period./ lzb