MILF party fields bet vs. Cotabato reelectionist mayor

COTABATO CITY – A last-termer councilor here will seek the mayoralty post with the backing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) political party–the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP).

Former councilor Mohammad Bruce Matabalao, a journalist-turned-politician, filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor on Friday afternoon to challenge reelectionist Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.

Matabalao has served the city legislative body for three consecutive terms and resigned early this year to work as director of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) interior minister and UBJP secretary-general, described Matabalao as a sincere, dedicated, and experienced local politician who was more than qualified to promote the UBJP advocacy of moral governance.

“We would just like to present a new kind of governance under Matabalao,” Sinarimbo said.

Sayadi, meanwhile, said she is willing to take on any challenger for the mayoralty post given her good track record as local chief executive.

“Cotabateños know me as they have seen my work for them the past three years. They could vouch for my record (as mayor),” she said.

Sayadi and her party, including vice-mayoral reelectionist Graham Nazer Dumama, filed their COCs under the local “One Kutawato” party before the Commission on Elections office here on Oct. 2, 2021. (PNA)

Top 5 ‘innovative ideas’ in BARMM recognized

The five excellent ideas given recognition were the Garbage Recycle Project of Nurhanniesa M. Derico from Hope for Young Individual, Inc. – MILG Best Idea Award; the Bangsamoro Community Law of Ms. Kharsum H. Mohammad – JICA Best Idea Award; Floating Academy of Esmael U. Sema (Kaliyot B. Sali Peace Academy, Inc.) – MILG and JICA Awards; the Weaving Every Dream of Sama Dilaut in Tawi-Tawi led by Nur-mukin A. Usman of 3i – MILG Award; and the MFC: Battle against the Misinfodemic by Amalhayah M. Alikhan – JICA Award.

were done to… Read More

 September 18, 2021

COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MILG-BARMM) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have awarded the top five best entries for their “Bangsamoro Idea Challenge – A Call for Innovative… Read More

LEGARDA lauds House approval of BARMM Elections Postponement bill

Three-term Senator, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, principal author of the bill, commended the approval on third reading of House Bill No. 10121 which seeks to amend Section 13 Article XVI of Republic Act No. 11054, also known as the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Legarda, who filed the measure as House Bill 8116 on December 1, 2020, expressed that the passage of this bill will allow the Bangsamoro Government to attend to more urgent needs of the people especially during this time of the pandemic.

The bill provides for the postponement of the conduct of the first regular elections of the Bangsamoro government in 2022 to 2025 instead, as mandated by RA 11054.


According to Legarda, the postponement of the elections to synchronize with the 2025 national elections would allow for the strengthening of the BARMM’s foundations for a stronger regional government and economy while also providing an adequate amount of time for the full transition of the BARMM to fully transpire.

“The additional few years would ensure a more effective implementation of the programs and operations of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. I therefore join the entire Bangsamoro region in welcoming the approval of this important measure ,” Legarda concluded.

BARMM execs laud Dimaampao appointment, resetting of election

BARMM parliament lauds appointment of Dimaampao to SC

 September 16, 2021

COTABATO CITY – The 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BTA-BARMM) has commended the appointment of former appellate court Justice Japar Dimaampao to the Supreme Court (SC).In a resolution released Thursday, the BTA members… Read More

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House nod on postponement of 2022 BARMM polls lauded

 September 16, 2021

COTABATO CITY – Officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao (BARMM) have lauded the House of Representatives’ final approval on Wednesday night of the bill resetting the region’s regular polls for 2022 to 2025.President Rodrigo Duterte certified the bill as urgent on… Read More

HOUSE OKs bill resetting BARMM polls to 2025 on final reading

 September 15, 2021

MANILA – The House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously approved on third reading a bill seeking to reset the first regular elections of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from 2022 to 2025.The bill’s final approval came only two days after it was passed on… Read More

House approves BTA extension bill on second reading

BARMM officials elated

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By Ali G. Macabalang

KIDAPAWAN CITY – The House of Representatives has passed on second reading its bill extending the lifespan of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to 2025, bolstering prospects for the interim autonomous governance to accomplish mandates in building a regional parliament and transforming secessionist combatants into peaceful and productive citizens.

This promptly drew elation from Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim, Senior Minister Abdulraof “Sammy Gambar” Macacua, and Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo as well as the BTA Parliament led by Speaker Pangalian Balindong.

The four regional officials on Tuesday expressed fervent hope the House bill will pass final approval in soonest time, sources said.

Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, who delivered the sponsorship speech in first plenary session, rejoiced with two thumbs-up as acting presiding House Deputy Speaker Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano banged the gavel Monday night, Sept. 13, in unanimous approval of HB 10121 sans dissenting or abstention vote. See More

SENATE okays resetting of BARMM elections

From May 2022 to May 2025, synchronized with the national elections

 September 6, 2021

MANILA – The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading the bill seeking to reset the first regular elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with a vote of 15-3-1.Senate Bill No. 2214, sponsored by Local Government Committee Chairman Francis Tolentino,… Read More

HOUSE bill resetting BARMM polls to 2025 hurdles House panel

 August 27, 2021

MANILA – A measure resetting to 2025 the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) elections initially set in 2022 has hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives.This came after the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, Committee on Muslim Affairs and… Read More

BTA rejoices as Senate moves closer to resetting BARMM polls

 August 27, 2021

COTABATO CITY – Members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BTA-BARMM) here rejoiced as the Senate moved closer to approving the bill seeking the postponement of the regional polls to 2025.BTA Member of Parliament Raissa Jajurie, in a… Read More

BARMM lures investors to 5,000-hectare banana farm area

COTABATO CITY – Model banana farms are soon to sprout in about 5,000 hectares in a special geographic area (SGA) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in North Cotabato province.

VENTURE. RBOI-BARMM Chairman Ishak Mastura (left) and BTA Parliament Member Suharto Ambolodto (2nd from left) show the MOA they inked with local investors over the weekend for the establishment of a 5,000-hectare banana plantation in Kabacan, North Cotabato. The plantation will be set up in adjoining villages under the BARMM in Kabacan town. (Photo courtesy of BOI-BARMM)

Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) – BARMM Member of Parliament Suharto Ambolodto said Tuesday the project aimed to alleviate the lives of farmers and to encourage more local businessmen to pour in capital.

“This activity is mainly to look upon the opportunities of local entrepreneurs to invest here since they would be investing for the future of our Bangsamoro people,” he said.

The SGA comprises the 63 villages in six towns of North Cotabato that opted to join the BARMM during the two-part plebiscite held in January and February 2019.

Ambolodto said the signing of a memorandum of agreement with local investors further bolstered the endeavor with the initial set up of a banana plantation in a combined 5,000 hectares of farmlands in villages under the SGA in Kabacan.

Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) – BARMM Chairman Ishak Mastura said his office would facilitate the farmers’ link to the investors in terms of profit sharing and other concerns.

“We also need to link the farmers to local investors, not only in the government programs or services but also to private sectors that would give them direct assistance to start-up investments immediately in our region,” he said.

In a separate statement, RBOI Board of Governor Mohammad Pasigan said their office has been reaching out to farmers and local investors to expose them to investment opportunities in the region.

“The RBOI has even helped them connect to the tie-up ‘Harvest Program’ of Japan International Cooperation Agency and Land Bank of the Philippines that could fund both farmers and local investors on livelihood assistance through very reasonable forms of loan,” he said.

Local investors who signed the MOA were Engr. Kaiser Usman of Usman Banana Plantation in Matanog, Maguindanao and Datu Jabib Guiabar of Kabacan.

To drumbeat the initiative, both businessmen encouraged other local investors to do business in the region and help uplift BARMM’s economy.

“We are expecting to plant Cardava banana in the SGA to a farmland area of some 5,000 hectares,” Guiabar said. (PNA)

Duterte ‘neutral’ on call to extend BARMM transition period

 June 28, 2021

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is “neutral” on the proposal extending the transition phase of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for at least three more years.In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte would let Congress decide… Read More