COTABATO CITY – This city will officially become part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM) jurisdiction in December 2020.
Cotabato City, the provincial capital of South Cotabato, has hosted the BARMM regional government since way back when it was then known as the ARMM uber Gov. Nur Misuari but not officially a part of it. Its formal turnover to the BARMM has been set on December 15.
“We thank President Rodrigo Duterte for keeping the spirit of the discussion last year in Malacañang to carry out the mandate of the Bangsamoro Organic Law to transfer supervision over Cotabato City to the BARMM,” said BARMM Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo in his recent Facebook post,
The BARMM was inaugurated in March 2019 to replace the decades-old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The new region resulted from comprehensive peace dialogue between the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, once the biggest Moro rebel group in Mindanao.
“The Inter-Governmental Relations Body (IGRB) in its recent 5th meeting, agreed to undertake the turnover rites for Cotabato City this December 15, 2020,” he added, The IGRB is an intergovernmental body that deals with the Bangsamoro regional government’s relations and the national government.
Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi has yet to comment on the matter. Residents of the city and those from 63 villages of North Cotabato voted to become part of the BARMM through a plebiscite in January last year.
Mayor Sayadi, however, has filed a case before the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court questioning the plebiscite results over alleged voting anomalies.
The mayor also questioned the absence of the BARMM’s local government code that would institutionalize Cotabato City’s affairs and functions in the BARMM.
In February this year, President Duterte met with Sayadi and BARMM Interim Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim in an effort to resolve the issue.
With Cotabato City as BARMM capital, will now be the provincial capital of North Cotabato?