EX-CONGRESSMAN NOW BARMM PARLIAMENT SPEAKER
COTABATO CITY — Officials of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) on Friday elected a former member of the House of Representatives as speaker of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) interim parliament.
Lawyer Pangalian Balindong, former deputy House speaker for Mindanao, will lead the parliament until the regional elections slated in 2022.
Earlier, Balindong was appointed by the parliament as deputy speaker of Ghazali Jaafar of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who was initially designated as assembly speaker.
Jaafar, however, passed away two weeks ago due to a heart ailment in a hospital in Davao City.
During a special caucus of the BTA on Thursday, Balindong was unanimously nominated by BTA members to take the place of Jaafar in the parliament.
The MILF has 41 representatives to the 80-member BTA, who will work as part of the legislative body of the expanded political entity that came into being, as a result of the government and MILF peace process.
The election of Balindong came as the BARMM and BTA’s formal launch, with President Rodrigo Duterte in attendance, is set to take place at the Shariff Kabunsuan Complex here Friday afternoon.
Also elected as interim parliament deputy speaker was Hatimil Hassan from Basilan while lawyer Laisa Alamia was chosen as minority floor leader.
Maguindanao lawyer Lanang Ali Jr. was also elected as majority floor leader while Raby Angkal and Dan Dimakenal Caludtiag, would sit as secretary-general and sergeant-at-arms, respectively, of the BARMM parliament