Misuari's MNLF faction won't recognize Bangsamoro Transition Authority, spokesman says

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Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari and President Rodrigo Duterte (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 24) —​The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) will not recognize the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the new Muslim autonomous region's transition government.​​​​​​

Atty. Emmanuel Fontanilla, spokesperson of MNLF founder Nur Misuari, told CNN Philippines in a message Saturday since their faction of the MNLF is not part of the BTA, their group does not recognize the transition government.

The MNLF has several factions, including Misuari's. Other factions include that of incumbent chair Yusuf Jikiri, and former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema -- which have expressed support for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and have representatives in the BTA.

Under the ratified BOL, the BTA will be composed of 80 presidential appointees -- including the elected officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It does not, however, outline how many shall go to each Moro faction.

"The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) shall lead the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, without prejudice to the  participation of the Moro National Liberation Front," the BOL stated.

The BTA will be composed of 41 members from the rebel group MILF and another 39 from the government side will govern the  region for the three-year transition period until 2022. The government has yet to announce the members of the BTA.

The transition government's oath-taking ceremony was originally scheduled on Wednesday, but had to be moved to Friday. Among the 41 people in the BTA is MILF chairman Al Hadj Murad Ebrahim.

Misuari was the embattled former governor of the transitioning Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he wanted to meet with Misuari for peace negotiations in Mindanao.