The executive building of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Appointment of women to sensitive BARMM posts hailed

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (December 10, 2023)— Advocates of women empowerment and groups helping protect their rights were elated with the appointment of three from the sector to high positions in the Bangsamoro government.
The three appointees, the lawyers Sha Elijah Dumama Alba and Anna Tarhata Basman, and the longtime peace advocate Susana Salvador Anayatin, are members of the 80-seat regional parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim last week appointed Alba as head of the regional local government ministry, and Basman and Anayatin as regional attorney-general and director of the Office of Settler Communities, respectively.

Aileen Kesa Marie Hualde, executive director of the Women’s Organization of Rajah Mamalu Descendants, said on Sunday that she is thankful to Ebrahim for entrusting to Alba, Basman and Anayatin key positions in the regional government covering provinces where there is strong dominance, as a culture, by men in community affairs, governance and politics.

“We in our organization, composed of women from the ethnic Teduray community, are happy to see three very qualified women get to the helm of three big offices in BARMM,” Hualde said.

Lawyer Suharto Mastura Ambolodto, also a member of the regional parliament, said that the three appointees have good public service tract records and are known for being supportive of programs meant to foster cultural and religious solidarity among Muslims, Christians and non-Moro indigenous people, or IPs, in the autonomous region.

Anayatin, a devout Catholic, had served as chairperson of the Multi-Sector Advisory Board of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division for nine years. The group is helping 6th ID formulate plans and policies pertaining to its community service efforts and peacebuilding activities in parts of BARMM and in Region 12.

The Muslims Alba, a Maguindanaon, and Basman, who is of Maranaw descent, are both human rights lawyers and are popular for their cordiality with Christian communities.

“We hail their having been given vital positions in the regional government in concurrent capacities, them being members of the regional parliament too,” Ambolodto said.

A physician-ophthalmologist in the BARMM parliament, Kadil Sinolinding Jr., said there is Muslim, Christian and IP representation in their regional law making body and in agencies under their chief minister, Ebrahim, who is chairperson of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

"And that is so good in fostering peace and sustainable development in BARMM," Sinolinding, most known in the autonomous region as "the doctor in the parliament," said