World, Asia - Pacific

Philippines: Bangsamoro's deputy chief minister dies

Abdul R. Sahrin was battling brain tumor, says official statement

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 20.01.2021
Philippines: Bangsamoro's deputy chief minister dies Photo courtesy: Bangsamoro transition authority parliament website


A deputy chief minister of the Bangsamoro autonomous region in southern Philippines passed away on Wednesday, the government announced.

Abdul R. Sahrin died in the city of Zamboanga in Zamboanga Peninsula after a month-long battle with brain tumor, the statement said.

Popularly known as ‘Hassan Jawali’ and ‘Cong’ among his supporters, Sahrin was the secretary general of Moro National Liberation Front, and member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament.

“He was a key figure in fighting for our right to self-determination and working towards our shared vision of a peaceful and progressive Bangsamoro,” the press release added.

The Muslim majority region, which has a population of nearly five million, voted for greater autonomy in a historic 2019 referendum, ending decades of conflict and paving the way for a three-year transition toward elections.

On Feb. 26, 2019, Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, who is also the chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front which led the armed struggle, took charge as the regional head till 2022.

He appointed two deputies: Ali Solaiman for mainland, and Sahrin, now deceased, for island provinces.

After the transition period is complete, the region will have autonomy over internal affairs, establish and administer courts of Islamic law, and manage their surrounding waters jointly with the central government.

While foreign policy will be decided by Manila, former liberation fighters will be eligible to join the armed forces.

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