TPMT issues statement on the transition in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)

Cotabato City (May 24, 2021)- As specified in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) has been tasked with regularly monitoring the implementation of the peace agreements signed between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). We have closely followed the ongoing deliberations in the Philippine Congress on the extension of the transition period of the BARMM by seeking to amend the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Below are the details of the statement in its complete text and form:

The CAB and the Organic Law share the same objectives of achieving lasting peace on the basis of justice, as well as genuine and meaningful self-governance for the Bangsamoro.
It would exceed the mandate of the TPMT to come forward with a position on whether or not an extension of the transition period is justified, this decision is up to the elected representatives of the Filipino people.

We note that Secretary Galvez of OPAPP, and Chief Minister Ebrahim of the BARMM, have both made clear their strong advocacy for an extension of the period of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), before a regional election in 2025, in line with the majority of the bills filed in Congress. We further note the active discussion among the public and civil society in the Bangsamoro on the extension, including the petition of more than 1 million signatures in support of the extension.

The TPMT believes that it would be of benefit to the peace process if the issue of extension could be resolved swiftly in the coming days in the interest of predictability and clarity on the way ahead.
The allocated timeframe in the BOL for creating the BARMM was very ambitious from the start, especially when taking into account comparable international experience for transitions to peace. The BARMM is faced with a complex task of establishing an autonomous political entity which should not be underestimated. The constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic have considerably added to the challenges.

Nevertheless, a lot has been achieved in laying the foundations for effective administrative and legislative structures in the BARMM, including on the adoption of priority legislation and institution building. Both parties, the GPH and the MILF, are demonstrating a very high level of commitment to the peace process.

It has taken many years of dedicated effort and intense negotiations, of setbacks and advances to arrive at where we are today. The Filipino people can be proud of what has been achieved. The peace process is now at a critical juncture, as bringing an end to five decades of this conflict has come within close reach. Realizing those dreams will require all partners to the peace process to continue to demonstrate the commitment, perseverance and patience which has achieved so much to this point.


The independent Third-Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) was set up by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to monitor the implementation of the GPH-MILF peace agreement, as provided for in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed on 15 October 2012.

The TMPT has five members: Heino Marius (Chair), Karen Tañada (Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute), Rahib Kudto (UNYPAD), Huseyin Oruc (IHH), and Sam Chittick (Asia Foundation).
The TPMT is tasked with monitoring, reviewing and assessing the implementation of all signed agreements between the Parties, primarily the FAB and its Annexes. In particular, its basic functions are to:
- monitor and evaluate the implementation of all agreements;
- review and assess the progress of the implementation of commitments by both Parties under the Agreements (submitting comprehensive periodic reports and updates to both Parties for their appropriate action);
- and to communicate to the public the progress and developments in the implementation of the Agreements of the Parties.

The TPMT was launched in July of 2013, on the basis of the Terms of Reference agreed by the Parties in January of that year. The TPMT has so far convened forty times in the Philippines, on a roughly two-monthly basis, and will continue its work through until the completion of the Exit Agreement as per the FAB.