New BTC members urged to be united

The members of the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) were urged to be “united in purpose and direction” as it began its work of drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

On Monday, new BTC Chairman Ghazali Jaafar told the other 20 commissioners that he considers them as “brothers and sisters in a common struggle” even if they may be coming from the sides of the MILF or GPH.

“We all aspire for a system of life and governance suitable and acceptable to us. We are all one in this endeavor,” Jaafar said in his message that formally began the first plenary session of the BTC under the Duterte administration.

The two-day session was held on March 6 and 7 in Cotabato City, ten days after BTC’s formal launching last February 24 in Davao City where President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was the guest of honor.

The new BTC aims to finish the draft BBL by July 2017, in time for the opening of the second regular session of the 17th Congress. 

Jaafar is confident that the Commission will be able to meet the timeline. He said that “we would be able to finish the draft BBL… After all, we are not starting from scratch. We must build on the achievement of our predecessors in this Commission, some of whom are still with us”. 

On November 8, 2016, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Executive Order No 8 which reconstitued the Commission. The EO expands the membership of the BTC from 15 to 21. Out of the 21, eleven are from the MILF and 10 from the government, including 3 representatives from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) – Sema Faction.

The agenda of the sessions included review of the BTC internal rules and administrative matters. 

The Commission also adopted its budget for 2017 and appealed, through a resolution, to  the Department of Budget and Management for its early release.

Below are the members of the new BTC:


Ghazali Jaafar – Chairman
Haron M Abas
Ibrahim D. Ali
Mohagher M. Iqbal
Atty. Raissa H. Jajurie
Gafur A. Kanain
Abdulraof Abdul Macacua
Hussein P. Munoz
Ammal D. Solaiman
Said M. Shiek
Melanio U. Ulama


Atty. Firdausi Ismail Y. Abbas (MNLF)
Atty Hussin U. Amin
Dr. Susana Salvador-Anayatin
Hatimil E. Hassan (MNLF)
Datu Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan
Atty. Maisara Dandamun-Latip
Atty. Jose I. Lorena
Romeo C. Saliga
Atty. Omar Yasser C. Sema (MNLF)
Samira Gutoc-Tomawis

Next plenary sessions is on April 3 to 7.