Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara expressed deep sorrow over the passing of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) first vice chair and Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) chair Ghazali Jaafar, whom the lawmaker said was “determined to get the best deal for his constituents.”
The 75-year-old Jaafar reportedly died at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, three days after confinement in Metro Davao Medical and Research Center in Davao City due to heart problems.
“He was a voice of reason and a voice for peace and will surely be missed,” Angara said.
Angara had a chance to work with Jaafar when the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which paved the way for the establishment of the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), was still being deliberated in Congress.
As chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, Angara co-sponsored the BOL under Republic Act 11054, which was overwhelmingly ratified by the Bangsamoro people during a two-part plebiscite held earlier this year.
Angara described Jaafar as “one of the chief architects of the new BARMM and the BOL” since he headed the BTC as one of the pillars of MILF.
“He (Jaafar) was highly determined to get the best deal for his constituents, but was also willing to be flexible on some points in order to come up with a new organic law for Muslim Mindanao,” the lawmaker said.
Jaafar was among the 76 members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) who took their oath of office in Malacañang last month. BTA will serve as the government of the BARMM from 2019 until the elections in 2022.
The BARMM is envisioned as a political entity that would realize the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people for genuine self-determination under a ministerial form of government and ensure autonomy far more than what the ARMM provided.
is seen as a solution to the problems that the ARMM failed to address, such as poverty and unstable peace and order situation.