BARMM Spox: Most senators favor BTA extension

COTABATO CITY – Majority of the country’s senators favor Senate Bill 2214 that seeks to extend the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to 2025, lawyer lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM Interior Minister and spokesman, said.

The 80-member BTA is the interim law-making body of the two-year-old region whose term was to end with an election of new BARMM officials set on May 9, 2022, simultaneous with the next national and local polls.

Regional leaders and various sectors, however, are pushing to extend it up to 2025 due to the disruptions brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sinarimbo said Senate President Vicente C. Sotto (III) “assured us that there is no problem in the Senate and we still have a very ‘dominant’ majority who support the proposed BTA extension bill.”

The bill aims to move the BARMM parliamentary polls next year to 2025. Sinarimbo said a similar bill is also sailing smoothly in the lower chamber and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has given assurance in a meeting with BARMM officials, led by Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, that the bill will eventually become a law.

Sinarimbo banked on President Rodrigo Duterte’s assurance that he also believes the life of the BTA must be extended to another three years. (PNA