Tuesday Jun, 15 2021 05:19:37 AM

Money, personality-based politics soon a thing-of-past in BARMM

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 10:00 AM Fri Jun 11, 2021

COTABATO CITY – Top leaders of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are “not preparing” the ground works for the May 2022 election, even as some officials have embraced party-based reforms pushed by the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP).

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM spokesman, said UBJP builds on the principles of “transforming our political exercises so that elections perennially influenced by money- and personality-based politics will soon become a thing of the past.”

Sinarimbo said it did not happen by coincidence that four local officials in Basilan and more provincial elected officials in Tawi-Tawi would join in and embrace the principles espoused by the party, along with their Maguindanao counterparts. It was also learned that the Ompia Party of Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto Adiong was forming a tactical alliance with UBJP which he also confirmed.

A concurrent BARMM local government minister, Sinarimbo said the region’s proposed Local Governance Code (LGC) sets professional standards for mayoral and other local candidates, and that it bars the politician’s child from succeeding an elected parent already in the third of the three (three-year) terms.

Sinarimbo said that provision of the BARMM LGC would apparently not sit well with politicians who have become used to cycle of family succession in elections, turning public offices into a matter of inheritance.

He said these political reforms pushed by the BARMM leadership formed part of reasons why some local officials would apparently oppose plans to extend the three-year term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to up to 2025.

The BTA is the BARMM interim governing body, constituted by an 80-member Parliament; 41 of whom nominees of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and 39 named by the government as representatives of such groups as the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and various sectors like Christian Settlers, Women, Indigenous Filipino Communities, Persons with Disability among others.

Republic Act 11054, known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, sets the first election of Parliament members for May 2022 along with local and national polls. Elected Parliament members will vote from among themselves for a chief minister, at least six deputy ministers, as well as the speaker and deputy speakers, among others.

Broad-base reforms, Sinarimbo said, will also be embodied in the proposed BARMM government Electoral Code, which is being drafted at the level of the BARMM Cabinet.

He said the Philippine government and the MILF have agreed for a “change of environment” in electoral exercises in the Bangsamoro region, in accordance with its parliamentary setup and in upholding political party principles and platforms for “genuine, fair and honest” choice of officials.

Sinarimbo said the proposed BARMM Electoral Code will ban the usual practice of political turncoat of elected officials from one party to another—which is also seen this early to displease local officials normally too beholden of the central political powers, marking the elective leadership track with frequent cases of change-of-party. Nash B. Maulana

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