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By Prince Golez

The 80 members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) on Friday took their oath of office before President Rodrigo Duterte at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang.

The BTA, led by Al Haj Murad Ebrahim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, will run the new Bangsamoro region, created under Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), until the first elections in 2022.

The newly-created region will be “the realization of our collective desire. It will be the realization of all our dreams and end the long decades of armed struggle that hinders the growth of the region,” Duterte said in a speech.

Incumbent officials of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao automatically became part of the transition body until they complete their term on June 30, 2019. Other members were personally handpicked by Duterte.

In January 2019, the Commission on Elections proclaimed the ratification of the BOL after the successful January 21 and February 6 plebiscite.

Results of the plebiscite showed that the Provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi; cities of Marawi, Lamitan, and Cotabato; and 63 villages in North Cotabato form the new region.

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