Chief Minister Ebrahim’s trip to Turkey covered by travel authority from Malacañang

Cotabato City- The recent trip to Ankara, Turkey of Bangsamoro Administrative Region for Muslim Mindanao Chief Minister Al Haj Ahod Balawag Ebrahim was covered by a travel authority from Malacañang, the spokesperson for the BARMM said on Friday.

GMA News online said in its report Friday that Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo made the statement hours after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Twitter that he was going to file a diplomatic protest against Turkey for "a slap at Philippine sovereignty."

Locsin also threatened to file a suit against BARMM officials over the incident that he didn't specify.

"It is also worth mentioning that the travel of the Chief Minister was upon the invitation of the Government of Turkey and the corresponding Travel Authority was issued by the Office of the President of the Philippines to the Chief Minister," Sinarimbo said as quoted by GMA News.

"Further, in all of the meetings between the Chief Minister and representatives of the Government of Turkey, the government of the Philippines was represented by the Consul General," he added.

The secretary was angered by a meeting in Ankara between Turkish government officials and Ebrahim from December 13 to 15.

Locsin in a tweet early Friday evening said that he and Turkish Ambassador Artemiz Sümer had ironed out the misunderstanding.

"I met with Turkish Ambassador Artemiz Sümer to clear up the misunderstanding. We both agreed to continue to coordinate all engagements with BARMM together," Locsin said.

"I reaffirmed to my good friend Ambassador Sümer that my affection for Turkey has only increased with the swift resolution of this issue," he added.

Sinarimbo said Locsin could have initially raised the issue with the recently formed Inter-Governmental Relations Body(IGRB) comprising GPH and  BARMM representatives.

"In fact, the IGRB, co-chaired by Sec Dominguez and Minister Iqbal held its first meeting in Davao City on Decemeber 16, 2019," he added.