Politics

BTA vows to have Bangsamoro election code within the year 

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THE BANGSAMORO Transition Authority (BTA) is aiming to finalize the autonomous region’s election code this year, a key legislation for the holding of its first general elections in 2025, the national government said on Wednesday.  

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. ordered the new BTA officials to work double time for the accomplishment of the region’s fundamental codes, which include those on local government, revenue, and indigenous peoples.    

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said the BTA’s chief minister has expressed confidence that the election code would be passed “before the end of 2022” since the draft has already been accomplished and has undergone vetting.   

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s transition period, which was supposed to have ended this year, was extended by another three years under a law signed by former President Rodrigo R. Duterte. This meant that the first election for the region’s officials, including members of parliament, was also moved to 2025.   

“[In] the press statement of Murad Ibrahim, the chief minister, he said that they are very confident that they will pass the election code before the end of 2022 in order for us to prepare for 2023 and 2024,” Mr. Galvez told a news briefing. “Meaning, they will prioritize the election code to give way to the preparation with the Commission on Elections.”  

Mr. Galvez said BTA officials are “very confident” that they can pass the remaining four codes “in due time.” 

Meanwhile, Mr. Galvez said as many as 10,000 Maoist rebels are expected to surrender to the Philippine state.  

Around 8,000 to 10,000 members of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed wing, the New People’s Army, are expected to avail themselves of the government’s amnesty offer, he said at the same briefing. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza