BTA-BARMM Parliament’s Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS)

The Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) provides support to the Parliament and its members through proactive research, objective policy analysis and advocacy of sound socio-economic, fiscal and institutional reforms, as well as in all legal matters arising in the Bangsamoro Parliament. It conducts socio-economic policy and budget research and provide informational foundations for legislation and oversight and assist in the formulation of the legislative agenda of the Parliament. Said research shall be accessible to the public, subject to limitations as may be provided by law. It also provide legal services, including the investigation and review of administrative cases of Members, officers and personnel of the Parliament, render legal opinions on matters of local and national concern, assist the standing committees with their legislative work and represent the BTA Parliament in courts and quasi-judicial agencies.

The PRLS team is duty-bound to uphold excellence and integrity in providing research-grounded legislations through our succinct reviews and scholarly commentaries understandable by multiple (lay) publics that are clear and devoid of legalese and academese writings.

Vision: Igniting the culture of research for the betterment of the Bangsamoro people.

Mission: To ignite a research culture is to create a significant space to homegrown ways of knowing and world-making that are grounded on multiperspectivist thinking and lived experiences of the Bangsamoro society.

Core Values: Envisaging a tolerant society for both Muslims and non-Muslims, the PRLS is guided by the esprit de corps of the “moral governance” conduit to the five immutable principles on faith, freedom, moral authority, common good, and social ethics.

Roadmap of the two Divisions

(1) Legislative Research Division is the Parliament’s research arm that upholds integrity and excellence in conducting research works.

Strategy: Use of multiperspective critical thinking and lived experiences of the Bangsamoro people.

Goal: Conduct researches and studies on major legislation, policy issues and other specific legislative concerns of the Parliament.

Objective: Carry out necessary research activities on the Parliament’s areas of concern for administrative programs and policies and create reports for evaluation.

Action Plan: Prepares opinions, analyses, briefing papers and other forms of technical research assistance in response to queries or requests from the Members of the Parliament, their staff and other offices in the Parliament. In addition, upon request by any member of the Parliament, the research division office may also entertain confidential inquiry service in line with their legislative functions.

(2) Legislative Measures and Legal Assistance Division is the legal face and jurisprudential entity of the Parliament.

Strategy: Use of multiperspective positionality in jurisprudence and legal analysis based on lived experiences of the Bangsamoro people.

Goal: Drafts legislative measures such as cabinet bills and resolutions upon request, or review such legislative measures before they are presented to the plenary and before the same are released for publication and circulation.

Objective: Provides technical assistance to any member of the committees in the preparation of proposed amendments, substitute or consolidated bills.

Action Plan: Upon request by any member of the Parliament, the legal division office shall provide ancillary materials such as more-detailed written explanations of bills, summaries of changes made thereto by the committee, matrices comparing the provisions of bills, explanations pertaining to Bangsamoro Autonomy Acts, and legislative histories of issues or bills.

To contact PRLS, email the office at or call/text Nassef, the OIC, at +63.915.806.3184. You may visit the PRLS office at the Bangsamoro Transition Authority – Extension Office, 87 De Mazenod Avenue, Barangay Rosary Heights V, Cotabato City, 9600 Maguindanao, BARMM, Philippines.

Officer-in-Charge of the Policy Research and Legal Services

Nassef Manabilang Adiong is the founder of Co-IRIS (International Relations and Islamic Studies Research Cohort), PHISO (Philippine International Studies Organization), and DSRN (Decolonial Studies Research Network). He works on interdisciplinary research between Islam and International Relations (particularly, comparing Muslim governance with the nation-state system), and explores Muslim polities in Southeast Asia. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Islam in Asia (Brill Publishers), Islam and Global Studies series (Palgrave Macmillan/Springer), International Relations in Southeast Asia series (Routledge), Islam in Southeast Asia series (Palgrave Macmillan/Springer), Islam in the Philippines series (IIUM Press). In the policy realm, he led the review of policies on Madrasah education and served as member of the AFP Civil Service Relations’ Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board. With his unrelenting academic service, he was awarded with the Centennial Professorial Chair by the University of the Philippines Diliman and conferred as Professorial Chair in Political Science and International Relations by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Officer-in-Charge of the Legislative Research Division

Hajji Moludin G. Bernan is the former head of the defunct BTA Reference and Research Affairs Division, which is now the newly constructed “Policy Research and Legal Services. The previous Reference and Research Affairs Division prepares and drafts the bill and resolution upon the Member’s of Parliament request. It provides legislative counselling to the Members of Parliament and their staff, other legislative researchers, Secretariat officials and employees of the Parliament. It is responsible for all activities relating to the library and archival services. It is the repository of all legislative records of the Parliament.

Officer-in-Charge of the Legislative Measures and Legal Assistance Division

Abdel Jamal R. Disangcopan is an attorney with more than nine (9) years of experience working in the humanitarian and development sectors and in the academe. His areas of expertise include law reform, public health and law, Bangsamoro law and related matters, and international human rights law. As a humanitarian and development worker, he previously served as Coordinator of Legal Issues for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, as Humanitarian Affairs Assistant for Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi) Response at UN OCHA, and as a Technical Assistant for Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) Recovery at WHO Philippines. He has significant experience and training in human rights, with focus on specialized rights and minority rights, and international humanitarian law, which began when he worked for the BARMM’s regional human rights commission as head of Provincial Office in Lanao Del Sur based in Marawi City in 2013. Aside from being a sought-after legal consultant in various fields of law and project management, he is also a lecturer of law since 2016 teaching undergraduate students, law students, and students of the Philippine Public Safety College and Philippine National Police Training Institute on substantive and procedural law courses.

Technical Staff Members of the Policy Research and Legal Services

Vincent L. Casil works on the interrelated studies on justice, misrecognition, and formation of subjectivities in the Philippine society. His published and presented articles span from showing the different manifestations of alienation in the Philippines to scholarly reading of Heidegger and Marx’s philosophy. As an academic, he has been teaching research courses to Political Science and Public Administration students at the City of Malabon University, where he has supervised numerous policy-related research. He was once designated as a researcher of the College of Arts and Sciences at the same institution, and he was tasked to conduct research on the areas of interest of Malabon’s local government. Aside from working on research, he also taught a course on Ethics at the Ateneo de Manila University before being part of department of Theology and Philosophy of Dela Salle-College of St. Benilde.

Abdulwahid H.G. Panganting earned his master’s degree in Asian Studies major in Southeast Asia (2020) at the Asian Center, the University of the Philippines-Diliman while he finished his bachelor’s degree in International Relations (2014) at the Mindanao State University-Main Campus, Marawi City. Wahid as he is fondly called by his close peers is likewise a participant in an international short-exchange program in Japan—the JENESYS Programme (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths) in 2014. Mr. Panganting is interested and has researched on the following issues for the past four years (2016 to date), namely: peace process in Mindanao, traditional conflict resolutions, Bangsamoro issues, and the Civil Society Organizations in Southeast Asia. The recent of which was his master’s thesis titled “The Converging Role of the Traditional Leaders and Non-Traditional Leaders in Conflict Resolutions: The Cases of the Sultanate of Marawi, Marawi City, Philippines, and Negeri Batu Merah, Ambon City, Indonesia (2020).”

Anisah U. Lingga is a graduate of Business Economics from the Mindanao State University, Marawi City. She is currently finishing her MA degree in Economics at the University of the Philippines School of Economics Diliman. She is skillful in operating various statistical software such as STATA, SPSS, MS Excel and R Programming. She is also proficient in Quantitative Analysis and Data Visualization. Her undergraduate thesis paper entitled “Decomposition Analysis of Local Revenue Inequality among Municipalities of SOCCSKSARGEN” was proclaimed as the Best Research Paper during the MSU-CBAA Research Colloquium. In the past, she has worked as Executive Assistant in the Office of Executive Secretary BARMM and has been engaged in many research projects from various non-government offices in the region. Her research focus is on development economics and is inclined in conducting economic analysis with strong policy relevance. Her motivation stems from her exposure to the sentiments of the grassroots and her aspiration of a developed and sustainable economy for the Bangsamoro region.

Mc Erschad D. Pabillan is a graduate of BS Chemical Engineering in UP-Diliman last July 2020. He is currently studying Master in Engineering major in Chemical Engineering in Cebu Institute of Technology University. His group thesis entitled “Decentralized versus Clustered Microgrids: An Energy System Study for Reliable Off-grid Electrification of Small Islands” was published in Energies last August 2020. In his extracurricular activities, he was the Vice President for Internal Relation of UP Muslim Student Association in AY 2019-2020, Vice President for Finance of UP Muslim Student Association in AY 2017-2018, and the Vice President for Finance in Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers-Junior Chapter Luzon in AY 2018-2019. He is also a member of Chemical Engineering Society. For his work experience, he was a student assistant of UP Third World Studies Center. His research areas focus on policy recommendations regarding energy, environment, risk analysis and communication. His method includes the use of technology in policy research making, analysis, and evaluation.

Technical Staff Members of the Legislative Research Division

—– recruitment is still on-going for this division —–

Technical Staff Members of the Legislative Measures and Legal Assistance Division

Masiding D. Cornell Jr. is juris doctor graduate with a Masters degree in Public Administration. He previously served as a former senior councilor of the Municipality of Marantao in Lanao Del Sur where he was the chairperson of Environmental Protection and Ecology and Finance and Appropriation Committees. He was also the supervisor of Lake Lanao Watershed Reservation Program under DENR-EMB Region X which main advocacy was to determine the changing water quality through time and educate the Bangsamoro people on how to conserve Lake Lanao for future generations. He is a real estate broker which enabled him to learn about various community issues and make proposals on how to address them. He has great interpersonal skills which made him an expert in resolving all kinds of conflicts. 

Ma. Christine Macalinao Bactol is a specialist in ensuring positive overall customer experience and employing customer-focused approach to troubleshooting, resolving problems and delivering superior levels of service. Armed with years of training and experience, she delivers superior levels of service, which she intends to bring to the PRLS as Legislative Staff Officer. She previously worked for the Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Office VIII for two years under the Flood Control, Social and Environment Section (formerly known as Environmental, Social and Right of Way Section) where she assisted in different road construction projects and processed the resettlement of project affected persons. She also worked as executive consultants for two private companies where she underwent communication and leadership trainings. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism degree from the University of the Philippine Diliman, Asian Institute of Tourism in where she was a student-leader, having served in the student council and her various organizations. 

Samsuden Radiamoda Salimbago is a civic leader and an advocate of volunteerism. His passion for serving others inspired him to pursue a career in public service which also resulted in obtaining his masters degree in Public Administration. As a government employee serving Cebu City for almost four years, he worked as an Executive Assistant III and served as the Chief of Staff of Honorable Alvin Garcia in the 15th Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Cebu. Sam also has meaningful years of experience as an Administrator and Finance head in a private company during the early point of his professional career.

Airil B. Grefalda was a scholar until she earned her Bachelor of Technology Major in Food Service Management degree from the Sorsogon State University. After graduation, she served as Accounts Payable and Receivables Assistant at the Raffles and Fairmont Hotel Makati, where she also accomplished her Internship. Her internship was the first ever from the Sorsogon province to get accepted by the prestigious hotel. Airil is always passionate and seeks efficiency in her work and personal endeavors which she is excited to do as she joins the PRLS as administrative staff. She takes working in a new area as both a challenge and a learning opportunity.

Administrative Aide of the Policy Research and Legal Services

Musthafa Mazhar P. Ali is a recipient of Mangudadatu’s Mag-PEACE scholarship for the earned bachelor’s degree in Business Administration major in Marketing (2013-17, Cotabato City State Polytechnic College). He worked as Administrative Aide I at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region XII CCDEO (2020-2021) and as Election Assistant at the Commission on Elections in the Province of Talayan, Datu Anggal, Maguindanao.

Please take note that the PRLS Citizen’s Charter will be uploaded here soon.

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