Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim urged the Duterte administration to include Bangsamoro leaders in the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), hoping that the concerns of Bangsamoro people would be addressed.

In an interview with ANC, Ebrahim said that the request is meant for their constituents, adding that the Bangsamoro government was not consulted even once in crafting the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Before its enactment, leaders and lawmakers in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are worried that the Muslim community will suffer the most from the implementation of the law. They asked President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the bill.

In response, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that while there’s no room for Bangsamoro leaders in the (ATC), they will be consulted once the law is being implemented.

The ATC consists of the national security adviser, executive director of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), and secretaries from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Defense (DND), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Critics raised alarm over the ATC, saying that it expands the power of the administration. The Anti-Terrorism Act has been criticized as its provisions open a window of opportunity for human rights abuse.

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