EXCERPTS of my privilege speech in BTA Parliament 11th Session, July 29 and 30, 2019.
It is a great honor to address my distinguished colleagues in the Bangsamoro, especially on such a platform. I believe that each and every one of us has taken the mandate of governance, appointed to us by the President as provided by law, to heart. Each of us is guided by our own faith and moral code. I am personally guided by the principles given to me by Allah (SWT), my parents, as an Iranun, as a Bangsamoro, as a Filipino citizen, and now as a member of the Bangsamoro Parliament.
Looking at all the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, I want to emphasize how we are living in a world where human fraternity can and should be the norm. The visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, to Abu Dhabi to meet with Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, can only mean that the tides of how we view our religious differences to be changing. We are, after all, brothers and sisters by the book and in humanity.
This Human Fraternity meeting behooves us to recall the humanity in each of us. There is humanity in the eyes of the common citizen, who wants only the best for the lives of their family and community. There is humanity in the eyes of civilians who have been displaced by siege and conflict. There is humanity in the halls of this chamber, and I call on us to do whatever is necessary to deliver the promise of the Bangsamoro to our people.
A Bangsamoro government must realize this humanity by following the proper processes laid out by the law. This is to ensure accountability with all of our stakeholders.
According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, there are eight signs of good governance; rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, consensus oriented, equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness and efficiency, accountability, and participation.
This calling is what we have referred to as the moral governance in the BARMM. As the new Bangsamoro government, we should serve to be models for good governance in the face of our constituents and stakeholders. The strength of our new government lies in the expediency and urgency of the laws we create, and in the relationships we have with civil societyand private sector organizations.
To give an example: Rev. Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, President of the Ateneo de Davao University, met with the Chief Minister here in Cotabato City. They spoke about the initial work that the Ateneo has done to support the then-BBL and its subsequent treatment under the political process, including but not limited to the transition plan of the BARMM and the potential that comes with a “clean slate” government.
We cannot allow ourselves to be to think too far ahead in this “clean slate”, without an understanding of the proper turnover of financial documents and transactions that the previous government has held.
As stated in R.A. 11054, Article XVI, Section 10, Paragraph 4, “An inter-agency committee headed by the Office of the President, and composed of the Department of Budget and Management, Commission on Audit, and Civil Service Commission, shall conduct the requisite inventory to ensure that the liabilities of the Autonomous Regional Government in Muslim Mindanao under law, contracts, or obligations shall be assumed by the National Government prior to the transfer of powers, functions, assets, capital, records, funds, receivables, equipment, and facilities of the Autonomous Regional Government in Muslim Mindanao to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.”
This inter-agency committee should have been formed in order to settle the outstanding financial obligations and assets that the previous government has had. As of this writing, a ceremonial turn over has been conducted by the Regional Governor to the Chief Minister, but there has been no directive to form this committee as mandated by law.
Without this, we as members of the transition cannot claim to call ourselves as right in our humanity, or even as a morally sound government. The respect for due process in the eyes of the law, especially in the matter of our resources, cannot in the slightest terms be made light of. How we conduct the beginning of our transition matters to the generations that will come after us, long after the BTA has been dissolved.
As President Duterte said in his State of the Nation Address, “Catharsis is what we, individually and collectively, need to do today – not tomorrow, but today.”