Support to Cordillera’s quest for regional autonomy continues to flood with the new backing from officials of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

In a forum on fiscal autonomy of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on September 25 in Cotabato City, BTA Members of the Parliament Atty. Jose Lorena and Engr. Baintan Adil-Ampatuan responded positively to the Cordillera Regional Development Council’s request for support and committed to author a BTA Resolution supporting the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera.

“We always join the Cordillerans as they have joined us in our quest for meaningful autonomy,” Lorena said in his opening speech when he discussed the milestones of the Bangsamoro region from the 1976 Tripoli Agreement to its development to the now BARMM.

Lorena, who chairs the Committee on Administrative Code Interim Parliament of the BTA, also shared strategies towards the passing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, such as political mapping, having champions in Congress and Senate, developing constituency from the ground to include the youth, among others. Meanwhile, Adil-Ampatuan who served as resource speaker expressed her willingness to provide assistance to the Cordillera.

Presidential Legislative and Liaison Office (PLLO) Assistant Secretary Orville Ballitoc and Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) Executive Director Atty. Benedicto Bacani who earlier pledged their assistance in advancing the bid for Cordillera autonomy were also present in the forum. Lorena said that both IAG and the PLLO played a big role in advancing the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Article 10 of the 1987 Constitution provides for the creation of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras. The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao was created in 1989 with the ratification of RA 6734. Republic Act 9054 amended RA 6734 and expanded the territory and power of the ARMM. On January 21, the Bangsamoro Organic Law created the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao with Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur including Marawi City, Basilan including Lamitan City, Tawi-tawi, Sulu and Cotabato City comprising the BARMM. The BTA with 80 parliament members appointed by the President serves as the interim government from 2019 to 2022 until the new sets of officers will be elected on May 9, 2022. (NEDA-CAR press release)