BARMM Cabinet divided over sectoral representation of marginalized groups


Provisions on the sectoral representation of marginalized groups are causing delays for the passage of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Electoral Code.

In an online interview with PTV on Monday, BARMM spokesman Naguib Sinarimbo said the matter became the subject of a protracted debate in the BARMM Cabinet.

He noted there were concerns among some of the Cabinet members on how non-Moro indigenous people, women, and settlers could be fairly represented during the BARMM elections.

“Because if all the eligible voters cast their votes, they might overwhelm these sectors [in the polls] and it will still be the will of majority which will be followed,” Sinarimbo explained.

He noted, however, the said issue may soon be resolved since a “compromise” was finally reached in the Cabinet, which will allow it to submit the proposed bill to the BARMM Parliament for approval.

“Majority of the members of the parliament, which is the government of the day, have sponsored the bill so we are sure it will be passed since we have the numbers,” Sinarimbo said.

Due to the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on the operation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), including the pending BARMM electoral code, President Duterte signed into law last week Republic Act 11593, which pushed back the BARMM polls from 2022 to 2025.

Sinarimbo welcomed the initiative since it will give more time to the BTA to implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The accord includes the decommissioning of the 40,000 Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants.

“We have 12,145, who are already decommissioned. Before the end of the year, we are trying to increase it to 14,000,” Sinarimbo said.

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