You are on page 1of 54

ARMM History

The history of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) can only be understood in the
context of how the Bangsamoro people continuously struggle for self-rule and self-determination and how
the national politics address the Moro problem.
The creation of which was enshrined in the 1987 Constitution and established by Republic Act 9054, the
ARMM is now composed of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,
and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.
The ARMM today underwent a series of structural and systemic modifications, starting from the regional
regroupings in 1975 up to the expansion of the regional government in 2002.
The Moro Problem
Tracing back, the Moro problem was first formally mentioned during the speech of Datu Alaoya Alonto,
the Sultan sa Ramain convention delegate who represented Lanao during the 1934 Constitutional
Convention.
It should be noted however that as early as 1902, the letters of the Sulu Datus and Sultans addressed to
the U.S. Government show that the Bangsamoro struggle on self-determination has historical, legal, and
political claims.
The series of human rights violations against the Muslim Filipinos during the Marcos Regime aggravated
the Moro problem which sparked the creation of Muslim Independence Movement (MIM) in 1968 and
the rebellion led by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under Nur Misuari in 1973.
The ORC and Internal Autonomy in the Two Autonomous Regions
The Office of the Regional Commission of Region XII was established on July 7, 1975 by virtue of
Presidential Decree No. 742 and Letter of Instruction 290, along with Regions IX, X and XI. Region IX
was composed of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga del Sur, and the cities of Pagadian and
Zamboanga, with Jolo as the Regional Center; while Region XII included the provinces of Lanao del
Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, and the cities of Cotabato, Iligan
and Marawi, with Cotabato as the Regional Center. On August 21 of the same year, President Ferdinand
Marcos reorganized Region IX into Sub-Region IX-A and Sub-Region IX-B, with Basilan, Sulu and TawiTawi, and Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and the cities of Dipolog, Dapitan, Pagadian and
Zamboanga respectively.
Following the signing of the Tripoli Agreement on December 23, 1976 which called for the establishment
of autonomy covering 13 provinces and 9 cities in Mindanao, Presidential Decree No. 1628 declared the
areas covered in the Tripoli Agreement as areas of autonomy. An Interim Government was organized
consisting of a Chair and Co-Chair with the Provincial Governors and City Mayors of the 13 provinces and
9 cities as members. Sultan Mohd Ali Dimaporo and Simeon Datumanong became the Chair and CoChair of the Interim Government respectively. The referendum/plebiscite on April 17, 1977 showed that
only the provinces under Region IX and XII had voted for autonomy. Regions IX was composed of the
provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and the cities
of Dipolog, Dapitan, Pagadian and Zamboanga; while Region XII was composed of the provinces of
Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, and the cities of
Cotabato, Iligan and Marawi.

Later in 1978, by Presidential Decree No. 1555, President Marcos changed the Regional Center of
Region IX to Zamboanga City. The Regional Commissioners of Regions IX and XII were Romulo
Espaldon and Simeon Datumanong, respectively.
Batas Pambansa Bilang Dalawampu (20), enacted by the Interim Batasang Pambansa on March 23,
1979, established the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council of each of the two Autonomous
Regions, as well as the manner of elections. Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1618, issued on July 25,
1979, defined the functions, powers and responsibilities of the Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook (LTP)
and Batasang Pampook (BP) as the executive and legislative arms of each of the Autonomous
Governments. Section 4 of PD No. 1618 enumerated the scope of internal autonomy of the two
Autonomous Regions.

On September 20, 1979, by virtue of PD No. 1639, President Marcos abolished the ORC of each of the
regions. The executive powers were transferred to the Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook.
The LTP
Ulbert Ulama Tugung was appointed as Chair of LTP Region IX on December 9, 1979 while Simeon
Datumanong as Chair of LTP Region XII. Nur Hussein Ututalum and Abul-Khayr Alonto became the first
speakers of Legislative Assemblies in Regions IX and XII, respectively. In 1984, Amelil U. Malaguiok
replaced Chairman Datumanong as the LTP of Region XII. The 1986 EDSA revolution came and toppled
down Marcos from power. The then President Cory C. Aquino appointed Zacaria A. Candao LTP
Chairman which was later succeeded by Abdulrahman Alam.
The Muslim members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission sponsored the grant of Muslim autonomy.
The creation of two autonomous regions same can be found in the 1987 Constitution. The Regional
Consultative Commission (RCC) drafted a bill which was later passed into law as Republic Act No. 6734
known as the Organic Act of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Only the provinces of Lanao
del Sur (except for Marawi City), Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi voted to join the ARMM in a plebiscite
that was conducted on November 1989.
The creation of the ARMM abolished the LTP, of which during that time, Dr. Ali Bashir Lucman held the
position as the last LTP Chair.
The Leadership and Elections of the Autonomous Region
The Republic Act No. 6734, also known as Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
was signed into law on August 1, 1989 by President Cory C. Aquino and was ratified in a plebiscite in
November 1989. It was composed of the four (4) provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and
Tawi-Tawi.
The ARMM had its first election, on February 17, 1990, by virtue of the Transitory Provision in RA 6734
that the election will not be earlier than 60 days or later than 90 days after the law has been ratified.
Zacaria Candao assumed the position as the first Regional Governor of the ARMM with Benjamin Loong
as the Regional Vice-Governor. Governor Candao stayed in the position for three (3) years and initiated
the devolution of several national agencies and directed his administration towards its two-pronged goals:
peace and development.

The second regional election was held in the four provinces on March 25, 1993. Section 1 of RA
7647 states that the date of ARMM election will be on the second Monday after the Muslim Month of
Ramadhan except on the second regular elections. Former Ambassador Lininding P. Pangandaman and
Nabil Tan were elected as the second Regional Governor and Vice-Governor of the ARMM, respectively.
The third ARMM election was supposed to happen on March 4, 1996, but RA 8176, which was passed in
less than 3 months before the scheduled election, moved the election to September 9, 1996. MNLF
Chairman, Prof. Nu rMisuari and his running mate, Guimid Matalam won unopposed. Governor Misuaris
tenure of office served as a transitory towards the Phase 2 of the Final Peace Agreement wherein RA
6734 would be amended or repealed through congressional actions.
The 1999 election was supposedly on March 8, 1999 (based on RA 8176) but the law was approved on
March 4, 1999, four days before the scheduled election. RA 8746 moved the date of election to Sept 13,
1999.
RA 8753 moved the date of polls five days before the election. The supposedly September 13, 1999
election was moved to September 11, 2000 by virtue of RA 8753 which was passed on September 8,
1999.
Then ten days before the supposedly September 11, 2000 election, the date of fourth ARMM election was
moved again to May 14, 2001 (this time to coincide with the general election) under RA 8953. It was a
certified urgent bill. It was filed on June 2, 2000; approved by the House on June 5, 2000; sent to the
Senate on June 6, 2000; received by the Senate on June 14, 2000 before the Congress sine die
adjournment. Despite the insufficient time-frame according to opposition, both chambers agreed to form a
Constitutional Commission (ConCom) on August 21. The ConCom released the report on August 22. On
August 31, the bill was transmitted to the President who approved it on September 1, ten days before the
date of election.
RA 9012 which was approved on February 14, 2001 changed again the date of election, supposedly May
14, 2001 to September 10, 2001.
The fourth election was finally conducted on November 26, 2001. MNLF Vice-Chairman Dr. Parouk S.
Hussin and Dr. Mahid M. Mutilan were elected as Regional Governor and Vice-Governor, respectively.
This was shortly after the RA 9054 was passed into law, with the intention that it shall incorporate the
provisions of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation
Front (MNLF), amended the RA 6734 and including the City of Marawi and Province of Basilan to join the
Expanded Autonomous Region.
Note that more than a month since the passage of RA 9012, RA 9054 aka the Organic Act of ARMM
lapsed into a law without the Presidents signature. This was the time of the so-called EDSA Dos where
there was too much political instability in the country.
ARTICLE

XVIII

Transitory

Provisions

of

RA

9054

provides

that:

SEC. 7 First Regular Elections. The first regular elections of the Regional Governor, Regional Vice
Governor and members of the regional legislative assembly under this Organic Act shall be held on the
second Monday of September 2001.
It was specific, only for the first regular election. It did not state that the next elections will be three years
thereafter. The supposedly September 10, 2001 election was moved to November 25, 2001 by virtue

of RA 9140. November 25, 2001 was the fourth ARMM election and the first ARMM election under the
NEW Organic Act RA 9054.
Then came RA 9333 which changed the date of ARMM election to the second Monday of August. The
August 8, 2005 and August 11, 2008 elections, the fifth and sixth ARMM elections respectively (or the
second and third ARMM election based on the new Organic Act), were based on RA 9333.
The fifth ARMM election took place on August 8, 2005. Former RLA members Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan
and Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong assumed the title as the fifth Regional Governor and Vice-Governor,
respectively.
Then Regional Vice-Governor Ansaruddin Alonto Adiong assumed into office as Acting Regional Governor
on December 10, 2009 on account of the physical inability of then Regional Governor Zaldy Ampatuan to
perform his functions.
In 2011, after passing the Election Synchronization Law, President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed former
AMIN Partylist Representative Mujiv S. Hataman and Bainon Karon as OIC Regional Governor and OIC
Regional Vice Governor, respectively. Thereafter, on May 13, 2013 election, the 7 th ARMM election was
synchronized with the national elections by virtue of RA 10153 which was passed into law on June 30,
2011.Mujiv S. Hataman won the seat as the sixth Regional Governor of ARMM, together with his running
mate Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman as the Regional Vice-Governor.

Bangsamoro / Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)


The term "Bangsamoro" measn literally Moro Nation. It has
always referred to Muslims, with the word Moro taken from the
Spanish for Muslim (Moor). Mindanao saw the rise of the first
political units ruled by the early datus. Major socio-political
changes however, happened when Sheik Makdum, an Arab
missionary, came and introduced Islam in Mindanao in the 13th
century and followed by Shariff Kabunsuan in the 15th century.
Thus, Islamic communities were formed throughout Mindanao, a situation eventually uniting the
Mindanao mainland with its sub-urban islands with the formation of the Islamic Sultanates under one
Supreme Council. The greater majority the converted to Islam co-existed peacefully, socially,
economically, political and even culturally with their highlander neighbors.
The united stance adopted by Muslims had become the shield by which the Mindanaons repelled the
influences of foreign domination which the Spaniards, the Americans and the Japanese tried to impose
on them. In the early 1900s, the Manila government opened Mindanao, dubbed as The Land of
Promise, to settlers who were welcomed to share the fruits of its vast and rich natural resources. The
influx of settlers, majority of whom came from nearby Visayas, made Mindanao a place of diversified

groups whose ethnicity, culture, traditions and beliefs never became a source of misunderstanding,
apprehensions and even fears among the early Mindanaons.
The situation changed when land grabbing and social injustices were committed by some deceiving
groups against the regions peace-loving people. These reprehensible acts made the people question
the motives of the government. In February 1973, the Mindanao problem escalated into an armed
conflict, involving the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Mujahideen and the Armed Forces of the
Philippines. The conflict led to the death of thousands of innocent people, the displace of tens of
thousands more, and the destruction of billions of pesos worth of property. All these could have been
avoided if the government considered the plight of the Mindanaons, which raged on for years even with
the conduct of peace talks.
Finally, on July 7, 1975, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 742
and Letter of Instruction 290 creating Western and Central Mindanao regions in Mindanao and
establishing the Office of the Regional Commissioner in both regions. Hostilities, however, continued.
The military and the MNLF persisted with their armed confrontations. The Situation attracted the
attention of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), which intervened to find solutions to by
sponsoring a series of negotiations between the Philippine Government and the MNLF.
The intervention lead to the signing fo the Tripoli Agreement between the Philippine Government and
the MNLF in Tripoli, Libya on December 23, 1976. Ceasefire was proclaimed in the affected areas of
Mindanao, particularly Western and Central Mindanao regions. President Marcos, on March 25, 1977,
signed Presidential Proclamation No. 1628 forming an autonomous region in Southern Philippines. The
people, however, opted to retain the original political subdivisions of Western and Central Mindanao
regions in a referendum plebiscite on April 17, 1977. On may 7, 1977, Presidential Proclamation
1628-A was issued adopting the wishes of the people. This did not appease the Bangsamoro Fronts,
which called the Autonomous regions as a unilateral implementation by the Manila government of the
Tripoli Agreement and, as such, was not recognized by the Mujahideen.
On July 25, 1979, Batas Pambansa No. 20 was enacted creating the Regional Autonomous
Government in Western and Central Mindanao regions. The moves, however, did not stop the hardcore
Mujahideen, which had already split up into three groups the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
under Misuari, the Moro Islamic Liberation From (MILF) under Hashim Salamat, and the MNLFReformist under Dimas Pundatu from pursuing their revolutionary goals. This is in spite of success
the Philippine government made in attracting back into the folds of the law a big number of Moro rebels.
Many up their arms. Among those who led the MNLF in the struggle but later joined government were
the pioneering top commanders of the MNLF.

President Corazon C. Aquino, after fall of the Marcos administration, pursued a more vigorous
approach to solve the Mindanao problem. She met MNLF Chairman Nur Misuary in Jolo, Sulu and
followed this up with peace negotiations. All were formalized by the Jeddah Accord on January 3, 1987,
which focused on the full implementation of the Tripoli Agreement. The Aquino government, even as the
talks failed, sought the creation of the Autonomous Region in Mindanao (ARMM) by providing the 1987
Philippine Constitution and directly ordered to convene the Ad hoc Council of the Regional Consultative
Council, the body tasked to draft the Organic Act that would serve as the operations manual of the
ARMM.
The Organic Act was signed into law, as Republic Act 6734, by President Aquino on August 1, 1989 and
a plebiscite was conducted in the proposed area of the ARMM on November 17, 1989. Of the 13
proposed provinces, only four; Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi joined the ARMM. The
first set of ARMM officials were elected on February 17, 1990. Due to electoral protest, the ARMM
formally started to function only on July 9, 1990 following the oath taking of Atty. Zacaria A. Candao as
First Regional Governor of ARMM. By and large, the ARMM could not have taken shape without the
blood, sweat and tears; the sacrifices and the hardships the Bangsamoro mujahideen and the
Bangsamoro people struggled for self-determination for a more developed and more peaceful place to
live.
Thus, the ratification of Republic Act #9054, an act to strengthen and expand the Organic Act for the
ARMM amending for the purpose. RA #6734, entitled An Act Providing for the ARMM as ameded in
September 2001 plebiscite paved the way for the expansion of the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao to include the Province of Basilan and City of Marawi.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao seeks to fulfill only two general objectives: Development
and Peace for its 2.8 million people in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu,
Tawi-Tawi and City of Marawi. The new expanded ARMM is headed by one (1) Regional Governor, one
(1) Regional Vice Governor and twenty four (24) representatives of Regional Legislative Assembly
representing the eight districts of the five provinces and one city of the region. The new regional
leadership has ushered new hopes for the expanded ARMM and has commenced governing the region
with clear policy guidelines and development directions anchored on transforming the autonomous
regional government toward responsive governance.
On October 15, 2012, the MILF and the government signed a Framework Agreement, which calls for
the creation of an autonomous political entity called the Bangsamoro, replacing the Autonomous
Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The agreement provides the potential for peace between the two
parties, but how it will affect and influence other armed insurgent and criminal groups is still unknown.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a MILF splinter group, continued to confront
government and other groups in Mindanao.

The biggest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines on 27 March 2014 signed an historic pact with the
government to end one of Asia's longest and deadliest conflicts. The rebels battle for self-determination
had left more than 120,000 dead and displaced millions.
Over two years after the Philippine government and the countrys largest Muslim rebel group signed a
pact aimed at ending four decades of bloody unrest in the south, questions remained about where the
peace process is headed. Before adjourning for a months-long break, Congress failed to pass a
proposed law that would create a self-governing region for the rebel area.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/philippines/government-armm.htm

Philippines - Government
The Philippines has a representative democracy modeled on the U.S. system. It has experienced an
incomplete transition to democratic governance that, while marked by great personal freedom for
Philippine citizens, never seems to have properly taken root in the institutions that must handle the
difficult task of governing a diverse and divided society. The Philippines lives with an imperfect 1987
Constitution that, according to some observers, was passed in extreme haste to meet an artificial
deadline imposed by President Cory Aquino, taking the country from one extreme -- rigid rule under
Marcos -- to another extreme, in which minority parties and groups without defined constituencies (such
as the Philippine Senate) are given extensive power at the expense of a more mature and stable
political system.
The 1987 constitution, adopted during the Corazon Aquino administration, reestablished a presidential
system of government with a bicameral legislature and an independent judiciary. The president is
limited to one 6-year term. Provision also was made in the constitution for autonomous regions in
Muslim areas of Mindanao and in the Cordillera region of northern Luzon, where many aboriginal tribes
still live.
The constitution, one of the longest in the world, establishes three separate branches of government
called departments: executive, legislative, and judicial. A number of independent commissions are
mandated: the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit are continued from the old
constitution, and two others, the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on Good
Government, were formed in reaction to Marcos's abuses. The Commission on Good Government is
charged with the task of repossessing ill-gotten wealth acquired during the Marcos regime.
Many provisions lend a progressive spirit to the Constitution, but these provisions are symbolic
declarations of the framers' hopes and are unenforceable. For example, the state is to make decent

housing available to underprivileged citizens. Priority is to be given to the sick, elderly, disabled,
women, and children. Wealth and political power are to be diffused for the common good. The state
shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service. To be implemented, all of these declarations
of intent required legislation.
The church and state are separated, but Catholic influence can be seen in parts of the Constitution. An
article on the family downplays birth control; another clause directs the state to protect the life of the
unborn beginning with conception; and still another clause abolishes the death penalty. Church-owned
land also is tax-exempt.
The president is empowered to control all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices, and to
ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. Presidential nominations of heads of executive
departments and ambassadors are confirmed by a Commission on Appointments, consisting of twelve
senators and twelve representatives. The president may grant amnesty (for example, to former
communists, Muslim rebels, or military mutineers) with the concurrence of a majority of all the members
of Congress and, as chief diplomat, negotiate treaties, which must be ratified by two-thirds of the
Senate.
The constitution contains many clauses intended to preclude repetition of abuses such as those
committed by Marcos. The president's spouse cannot be appointed to any government post (a reaction
to Imelda Marcos's immoderate accumulation of titles and powers). The public must be informed if the
president becomes seriously ill (a reaction to the belated discovery of numerous kidney-dialysis
machines in Marcos's bedroom in Malacaang). The president is prohibited from owning any company
that does business with the government. And the armed forces must be recruited proportionately from
all provinces and cities as far as is practicable, in order to prevent a future president from repeating
Marcos's ploy of padding the officer corps with people from his home province.
The national government is in theory highly centralized, with few powers devolving to provincial and
municipal governments. In fact, local potentates often reserve powers to themselves that the national
government is not even aware of. The national government consists of three branches: the executive,
headed by the president; two houses of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives; and
the Supreme Court, which heads an independent judiciary. A bill of rights guarantees political freedoms,
and the constitution provides for regular elections.
The performance of these institutions was, of course, conditioned by Philippine history and culture, and
by poverty. For example, the twenty-four members of the Senate, elected by nationwide ballot, in the
1980s were drawn almost entirely from old, prominent families. Senators staked out liberal, nationalist
positions on symbolic issues, such as military base rights for the United States, but were exceedingly
cautious about any structural changes, such as land reform, that could jeopardize their families'

economic positions. The internal operation of Congress was slowed by inefficiency and a lack of party
discipline. Legislation often has been detained in the dozens of House and Senate committees staffed
with friends and relatives of members of Congress.
As of March 31, 2006, the Republic had 17 regions and 43,679 local Government units. Local
Government units included 79 provinces, 117 cities, 1,501 municipalities (subdivisions of provinces)
and 41,982 barangays (villages, which are the basic units of the political system). Highly urbanized
cities function independently of any province, while other cities are subject to the administrative
supervision of their home provinces. Elections take place in the Philippines every three years on the
second Monday of May, for a total of nearly 18,000 seats nationwide. The national, provincial, and
municipal elective seats at stake in 2007 included:

all members of the House of Representatives. There were 220 seats available in this year's
elections from geographic constituencies and a maximum of 55 from party list elections. The total number
of members varies from one Congress to another, depending on how many party list candidates gain the
minimum required percent of votes; as of 2010 there were 285 members in the House of Representatives,
229 of whom represent single-member districts. The remaining House seats are occupied by sectoral
party representatives elected at large, called party list representatives. The Supreme Court approved the
introduction of 31 additional party list seats in April 2009, in time for May 2010 national elections. Party-list
organizations must obtain at least two percent of the vote nationwide to win one seat and can each obtain
a maximum of three seats with six percent or more of the vote. All representatives serve 3-year terms,
with a maximum of three consecutive terms.

12 senators; the 24-member Philippine Senate is elected at large, and all senators serve 6-year
terms. Half are elected every 3 years, and the 12 highest vote-winners nationwide are elected. The
rationale for this rule intends to make the Senate a training ground for national leaders and possibly a
springboard for the presidency. It follows also that the Senator, having a national rather than only a district
constituency, will have a broader outlook of the problems of the country, instead of being restricted by
narrow viewpoints and interests.

governors, vice governors, and provincial legislators from 81 provinces (940), but not from
autonomous regions;

mayors, vice mayors, and council members from 118 cities (1558);

mayors, vice mayors, and council members from 1,558 towns (15,112).
An estimated 87,000 candidates vied for these positions. Republic Act 7166 of 1991 limited campaign
spending per candidate to no more than three Philippine pesos per voter (five pesos per voter for

independent candidates), while political parties may spend no more than ten pesos per voter. Most
observers note that these figures are unrealistic and unenforceable.
The 1987 Constitution seems to have failed to make a connection between the electoral system and
the party system. The latter defines the interrelationship between and among parties. The open party
system mandated by the Constitution does not exactly fit a majoritarian type of an electoral system as it
results in minority presidents. Scholars usually associate it with presidential systems that have
relatively stable two-party systems such as that of the United States. Therefore, the combination of an
open or multi-party system with a majoritarian electoral system in the Philippines, results in many
parties competing for the presidency. Because party ideologies are not present, the common
postelection scenario shows parties consolidating into coalitions with the winning presidential
candidate. In terms of governance, these shifting coalitions yield an unstable political climate,
vulnerable to breakdowns and crises.
Efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution have distinctively marked the national agenda since the early
90s. Years of political instability and economic downturns have prompted key sectors of society, and
the constituency it has spawned, to propose changes in the post-Marcos charter. Specifically, they want
a shift to a parliamentary system of government. According to them, this form of government will correct
the structural deficiencies inherent in the countrys political system that inhibit sustained stability and
growth. However, the proposal is stalled by a lack of consensus on the process or mode of amending
the countrys fundamental law. While indeed agreement on a process is important, the divisive nature of
arriving at this consensus has sidestepped the substantive elements of the debate.
By its design, a parliamentary system is said to foster effective governance as it avoids the legislativeexecutive gridlock that so often occurs in a presidential form of government. Given that the executive
and the legislature are usually controlled by the same majority party, it is claimed that it is easier and
expedient to pass legislation in a parliamentary system. In relation to this, the parliamentary system
follows the principle of collective responsibility. In addition, parliamentary systems can pave the way
for strong party discipline because deviation from the party line could result in the dissolution of the
government. To ensure the political systems survival and the efficacious and efficient formulation,
enactment, and implementation of government policies, cooperation and coordination between the
executive and the legislature are imperative.
Philippine elections historically have encountered significant violence. In the 2004 elections, there were
249 incidents of violence, with at least 148 known election-related deaths. In the 2001 mid-term
election, there were 269 incidents of violence, with 111 known deaths. Election-related killings typically
escalate in the final days of the election.

Philippine law permits one observer from each party, as well as observers from various civil society
organizations and accredited foreign observers, to be present in polling stations during the actual voting
and the counting of the votes. The main civil society group, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible
Voting - a Catholic Church-based group but with a Memorandum of Understanding with numerous
Muslim groups to help cover Mindanao - claims to have lined up at least one million volunteers this
year. Most civil society observers believe that it is extremely difficult to commit fraud at the precinct
level, but have expressed concerns that the likelihood of cheating increases at each stage upward in
the counting process.
The legal system used in the early 1990s was derived for the most part from those of Spain and the
United States. Civil code procedures on family and property and the absence of jury trial were
attributable to Spanish influences, but most important statutes governing trade and commerce, labor
relations, taxation, banking and currency, and governmental operations were of United States
derivation, introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Judicial power is vested in a Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.
The 1981 Judicial Reorganization Act provides for four main levels of courts and several special courts.
At the local level are metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, and municipal circuit trial courts.
The next level consists of regional trial courts, one for each of the nation's thirteen political regions,
including Manila. Courts at the local level have original jurisdiction over less serious criminal cases
while more serious offenses are heard by the regional level courts, which also have appellate
jurisdiction. At the national level is the Intermediate Appellate Court, also called the court of appeals.
Special courts include Muslim circuit and district courts in Moro (Muslim Filipino) areas, the court of tax
appeals, and the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan tries government officers and employees
charged with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The Philippines has always been a highly litigious society, and the courts often were used to carry on
personal vendettas and family feuds. There was widespread public perception that at least some
judges could be bought. Public confidence in the judicial system was dealt a particular blow in 1988
when a special prosecutor alleged that six Supreme Court justices had pressured him to "go easy" on
their friends. The offended justices threatened to cite the prosecutor for contempt. Aquino did not take
sides in this dispute. The net effect was to confirm many Filipinos' cynicism about the impartiality of
justice.
Justice was endlessly delayed. Court calendars were jammed. Most lower courts lacked
stenographers. A former judge reported in 1988 that judges routinely scheduled as many as twenty
hearings at the same time in the knowledge that lawyers would show up only to ask for a
postponement. One tax case heard in 1988 had been filed 50 years before, and a study of the tax court
showed that even if the judges were to work 50 percent faster, it would take them 476 years to catch

up. Even in the spectacular case of the 1983 murder of Senator Benigno Aquino, the judicial system did
not function speedily or reliably. It took five years to convict some middle-ranking officers, and although
the verdict obliquely hinted at then-Chief of Staff General Fabian Ver's ultimate responsibility, the court
never directly addressed that question.
In her State of the Nation address on July 25, 2005, President Arroyo called for the adoption of a
unicameral

parliamentary

federal

form

of

government

to

replace

the

current

bicameral

legislature/presidential unitary system. She abandoned her earlier preference of having a constitutional
convention address proposed changes to the Constitution and instead supported the option of having
the present Congress sit as a constituent assembly to make such changes, arguing that this was a
faster and less costly process. In September 2005, the President established a 55-member
Consultative Constitutional Commission to recommend amendments to the 1987 Constitution. The
commission submitted its proposal to President Arroyo on December 15, 2005, which the President
submitted to Congress for consideration in 2006.
The recommended amendments include shifting from a form of government characterized by a strong
executive and a bicameral legislature/presidential unitary system to a unicameral parliamentary form of
government. The amendments also call for the creation of autonomous territories and contemplate the
introduction of a federal structure of government, as well as the liberalization of the restrictions on
foreign ownership of land contained in the Constitution. The proposal also provides for the formation of
an interim government, including an interim parliament comprised of current members of Congress,
certain members of the presidential Cabinet and other presidential appointees, and a newly elected
interim prime minister, who would share power with President Arroyo until the next general election
scheduled to be held in 2010.
There was a movement to expedite the passage of these amendments through a process of initiative
and referendum led by a nationwide group of local officials and a multi-sectoral group called Sigaw ng
Bayan (Cry of the Nation). Sigaw ng Bayan claims to have gathered over eight million signatures,
significantly more than constitutional requirement of 12% of the total number of registered voters.
However, there are potential legal challenges to the process based on a 1997 Supreme Court ruling
that found the initiative and referendum process sufficient to cover statutory enactments, but
inadequate to initiate constitutional amendments to the Constitution.
By 2009 many suspected Arroyo aimed to win election as Speaker of the House, primarily in order to
use the influence associated with that position to protect herself and her family from accusations of
corruption. Noting previous trial balloons from the President's allies about undertaking constitutional
reform, and possibly shifting from a presidential to a parliamentary system, some believe Arroyo's
ultimate goal was to restructure the government in order that she can once again become the nation's
chief executive.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/philippines/government.htm

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao also called ARMM.

Per the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, it is no longer


Mindanao. The constitution does not refer to the island of
Mindanao as "Mindanao".
The constitution refers to the island of Mindanao asMuslim
Mindanao.
In each corner of the triangle of this proposed Philippine Flag
contains two small, yellow, five-pointed star and crescent/star.
These three images represent the three major geographical
divisions of the country: Luzon, Visayas, and Muslim Mindanao.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM was created on August 1, 1989 through Republic Act
No. 6734 otherwise known as the Organic Act.
The ARMM (autonomous region in muslim mindanao) was officially inaugurated on November 6, 1990
in Cotabato
City,
Philippines.
Cotabato City was then designated as its provisional capital. Although, Cotabato City itself is not part of
the ARMM (autonomous region in muslim mindanao).
The autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM is composed of five provinces and one city:

Basilan Province, Philippines - Included in 2001 except for the city of Isabela

Lanao del Sur Province, Philippines

Maguindanao Province, Philippines

Sulu Province, Philippines

Tawi-Tawi Province, Philippines

Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, Philippines - included in 2001

Executive Order No. 36 moved Basilan from Region IX and Marawi City from Region XII placing both
within Region XV ARMM (autonomous region in muslim mindanao)
Cotabato City is designated as the seat of the ARMM (autonomous region in muslim mindanao) regional
government, but the independent chartered City of Cotabato itself is part of Region XII and not part of the
ARMM. Cotabato City government officials have been protesting this illegal imposition by the ARMM on
their independent chartered city but cannot seem to remove the ARMM representatives operating in their
city without fear of terrorism against them. They are finally thinking of moving to Parang, Maguindanao...

This is not the official website of the ARMM (autonomous region in muslim mindanao) and we do not have
all the information about the ARMM in this site. You may search for other sites for information by utilizing
the search engine provided below.
What's new with the ARMM (autonomous region in muslim mindanao)?
ARMM News

THE election lawyer of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has asked the Supreme Court
to prevent the Aquino government from appointing officers-in-charge (OICs) in the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm). The Supreme Court should first resolve all petitions
disputing the validity of Republic Act 10153, the law that cancelled the August 8, 2011 elections in
the Armm, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said in a petition filed on Monday..... >>Full Story

Currently, the MILF (moro islamic liberation front) and the Philippine government is negotiating to have
more provinces and barangays tendered over to the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity. If this negotiation goes
through all the domain of the ARMM will pass on to the BJE in effect creating an ISLAM state in Mindanao
or Muslim Mindanao as the Philippine constitution calls it. On August 5, 2008, the memorandum of
agreement (MOA) to do this was temporarily restrained by the Philippine supreme court.
Right after the temporary restraining order was issued by the supreme court of the Philippines, the MILF
(moro islamic liberation front) attacked the Lanao province and parts of Cotabato. A war was ensued
immediately between the armed forces of the Philippines and the MILF (moro islamic liberation front).
This war lasted for about 3 weeks and of course the military on both sides of the fence have to show that
they mean business at the expense of the thousands of innocent people. The people are crying. They do
not want war. Civilians are dying! You see, the military on both sides of the fence say, War is not good. So
now they are back at the negotiating table.
What do you think is going on, my dear Filipino people? Are we so naive that we can't see it? Or are we
so callused and indifferent that we do not care anymore?
Did you know that the ARMM (autonomous region in muslim mindanao) created the province of Shariff
Kabunsuan Province, Philippines without the approval of the Philippine government in October 29,
2006? However On July 17, 2008, the Supreme Court, in Sema v. Comelec declared the creation of the
province of Shariff Kabunsuan void and ruled that the power of ARMM's legislature to create provinces
and cities is unconstitutional.
People talk about the ARMM or The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao but it is very unfortunate
that many people do not know the meaning of the word "autonomous".
What does the the word Autonomous mean?
The dictionary defines autonomous as: Independent; self-governing
Derived from the Greek words: autos = self + nomos = law, rule
Autonomy = A self-governing community or group
What is the purpose of the ARMM (autonomous region in muslim mindanao)? The armm wants
autonomy for the Muslim community in the Philippines and specifically in Muslim Mindanao.
Why are the Muslims in the Philippines claiming Mindanao as their ancestral domain? Can a religion
claim ancestral domain? Religion can't claim ancestral domain. Only indigenous people can claim
ancestral domain.
Before the Muslims arrived in the Philippines in the 14th century, the Philippines was occupied by
indigenous people from Luzon to the Sulu archipelago. So the ancestral domain claim should go to the
indigenous people!! Actually why are we calling ourselves indigenous? We are Filipinos! We are not like
Australia where the Europeans came and took over and the aborigines became the minority and therefore
now must be protected by the indigenous law of Australia. And we are not like Hawaii where it became
part of the United States of America and therefore must be protected by the ORGANIC ACT OF
HAWAII. We are all Filipinos and therefore must be under one government.

Notice the difference in these two flags?

each corner of the triangle contains a


small,
yellow,
five-pointed
star
representing the three major geographical
divisions of the country:

each corner of the triangle contains two small


yellow,
five-pointed
star
and
a crescent/starrepresenting the three major
geographical divisions of the country:

The two stars:

Luzon

Visayas

Luzon

Mindanao

Visayas

The design of the flag dates to 1897; in


wartime the flag is flown upside down with
the red band at the top.

The crescent and star


o

Muslim Mindanao

In 1987 The Philippine Constitution no longer


referred to Mindanao as Mindanao alone, it
refers to it as Muslim Mindanao.

Flag Description of the Philippines:

There are two equal horizontal bands


o

blue (top; representing peace and justice)

red (representing courage)

in wartime the flag is flown upside down with the red band at the top.

a white equilateral triangle based on the hoist side represents equality

the center of the triangle displays a yellow sun with eight primary rays, each representing one of
the first eight provinces that sought independence from Spain
o

Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Manila, Nueva Ecija, and Pampanga

In our case, the Philippines is run by Filipinos for Filipinos with various religions, cultures and
tribal origins but still Filipinos.

If you think about it in the context of the new government proposal, we are all indigenous. So, this
word "indigenous" does not apply to us Filipinos.

We are a nation of Filipinos. The blood line of of these indigenous people run through the veins of
our people today.

The Europeans or Americans are not here to rule over us so we may become indigenous.

We are our own people.

This discussion about "indigenous" people should be dismissed!!

By creating autonomy for the Muslims only, doesn't that make it prejudicial to the other tausugs,
maguindanaons and all other indigenous people who are not Muslims?
Thousands of years before Christianity or Islam settled in this archipelago, (now the Philippines) the
indigenous people were here. The blood line of these indigenous people (Subanons, Lutaos, Samals,
Bajaus, Tausugs, and Yakans) now run in veins of the people in Mindanao, some of them now Christians,
some Muslims, and some belong to other religions. The Muslims arrived in the archipelago (Philippines)
in the 14th century. The Christians arrived in the 16th century.
What is your opinion about the idea of an independent state for the Muslims in the Philippines?
There are many pros and cons regarding the idea of autonomy for the Muslims in the Philippines. For
those who are indifferent, here is something for you to think about.
Isn't the ARMM like the VATICAN? The Vatican is an independent nation for the Catholics like Iran
is an independent state for ISLAM. The Vatican stands alone and so does Iran. The ARMM
however,
is
within
the
security
blanket
of
the
Philippines.
How about the Law that Separates Church and State? The Philippines creates a law that separates
church and state then create a law that embraces a Religious Autonomy! What's going on here?
Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines declares separation of church and state. Article 3
forbids the government from passing any law concerning religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,
guarantees free exercise of religion and forbids the use of any religious test for public office. Churches
and religious institutions are tax-exempt. No public money may be spent in support of any
religion. The teaching of religious classes in public schools is permitted with the written consent of the
parent so long as provided there is no cost to the government. Religious organizations register with the
Securities and Exchange Commission to apply for tax exemption.
In 2009 the budget for the ARMM was P9.448 billion.
For 2010 the budget for the ARMM will be P9.435 billion. Yet the ARMM continues to have the poorest
areas in the Philippines.

The Philippine government will continue to support the ARMM. Non-Muslim Filipinos are not allowed to
participate in the ARMM Muslim affairs while their tax money continue to support the ARMM.
Now
Read
Information from International Coalition for Religious Freedom

Article

If the Muslims do get the autonomy, and therefore selfgoverned, would they still be part of the Philippines?
Would the other religions be welcome in their
autonomy or would the others be simply tolerated?
How about government representation? Would nonMuslims be allowed to run for office in the ARMM
(autonomous region in muslim mindanao) if the ARMM
is still under the Philippine government? Wouldn't that
be
contradictory
to
the
word
autonomy?
If the ARMM is totally self-sustaining, would only
Muslims be allowed to run for office? Non-Muslims will
not have any representation whatsoever?
These questions are directed at Muslims and nonMuslims.

Zamboanga.com would like to know your opinion regarding the questions below:
1. Article 2 section 6 of the Philippine Constitution states: The separation of Church and State shall
be inviolable.
a. Do you think we should uphold the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE?

2. If we uphold article II section 6 of the Philippine constitution which is the Separation of church and
state,
Doesn't it make this whole issue of the MOA unconstitutional since the MOA favors only
the
Muslims?

3. Thousands of years before Christianity or Islam settled in this archipelago, (now the Philippines)
the indigenous people were here. The blood line of these indigenous people (Subanons, Lutaos,
Samals, Bajaus, Tausugs, and Yakans) now run in veins of the people in Mindanao, some of them
now Christians, some Muslims, and some belong to other religions. The Muslims arrived in the
archipelago (Philippines) in the 14th century. The Christians arrived in the 16th century.
a. Do you think the Subanons, Lutaos, Samals, Bajaus, Tausugs, and Yakans have a
claim to ancestral domain?
b. Do you think the Muslims in Mindanao have a claim to ancestral domain?

c.

If these tribes (Subanons, Lutaos, Samals, Bajaus, Tausugs, and Yakans) were
converted to Christianity instead of Islam, Do you think the government would give
Christianity ancestral domain in Mindanao?

d. Can

religion

claim

ancestral

domain?

4. Article 10 section 1 of the Philippine constitution refers to Mindanao as Muslim Mindanao. In


Article 10 section 15 it repeats its reference to Mindanao as Muslim Mindanao.
a. Do you think the architects of the 1987 Philippine Constitution sold out Mindanao
by
referring
to
it
as
Muslim
Mindanao?

5. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was created under Republic Act 6734,
which followed the direction of Article 10 section 15 of the Philippine Constitution.
a. However, isn't this contradictory to Article 2 section 6 which states: The separation
of Church and State shall be inviolable.?
b. Isn't it unconstitutional for the Philippine Government to continue supporting the
Muslim religion financially and not any other religion? E.g. OMA (office on Muslim
affairs) and the ARMM
Your answers to the above questions will help enlighten the readers and viewers of zamboanga.com and
hopefully the rest of the Filipino people who may have the same inquiries. Email your answers to
webmaster@zamboanga.com
THE 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
ARTICLE X
Local Government
General Provisions
SEC 1.
The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces, cities,
municipalities, and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the
Cordilleras as hereinafter provided.
SEC. 2.
The territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy local autonomy.
SEC. 3.
The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and
accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization with effective
mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum, allocate among the different local government units their
powers, responsibilities, and resources, and provide for the qualifications, election, appointment and
removal, term, salaries, powers and functions and duties of local officials, and all other matters relating to
the organization and operation of local units.

SEC. 4.
The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments. Provinces
with respect to component cities and municipalities, and cities and municipalities with respect to
component barangays shall ensure that the acts of their component units are within the scope of their
prescribed powers and functions.
SEC. 5.
Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes,
fees, and charges subject to such guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent with
the basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local
governments.
SEC. 6.
Local government units shall have a just share, as determined by law, in the national taxes which shall be
automatically released to them.
SEC. 7.
Local governments shall be entitled to an equitable share in the proceeds of the utilization and
development of the national wealth within their respective areas, in the manner provided by law, including
sharing the same with the inhabitants by way of direct benefits.
SEC. 8.
The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law,
shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary
renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity
of his service for the full term for which he was elected.
SEC. 9.
Legislative bodies of local governments shall have sectoral representation as may be prescribed by law.
SEC. 10.
No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary
substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and
subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
SEC. 11.
The Congress may, by law, create special metropolitan political subdivisions, subject to a plebiscite as set
forth in Section 10 hereof. The component cities and municipalities shall retain their basic autonomy and
shall be entitled to their own local executives and legislative assemblies. The jurisdiction of the
metropolitan authority that will hereby be created shall be limited to basic services requiring coordination.
SEC. 12.
Cities that are highly urbanized, as determined by law, and component cities whose charters prohibit their
voters from voting for provincial elective officials, shall be independent of the province. The voters of
component cities within a province, whose charters contain no such prohibition, shall not be deprived of
their right to vote for elective provincial officials.
SEC. 13.
Local government units may group themselves, consolidate or coordinate their efforts, services, and

resources for purposes commonly beneficial to them in accordance with law.


SEC. 14.
The President shall provide for regional development councils and other similar bodies composed of local
government officials, regional heads of departments and other government offices, and representatives
from non-governmental organizations within the region for purposes of administrative decentralization to
strengthen the autonomy of the units therein and to accelerate the economic and social growth and
development of the units in the region.

Autonomous Region

SEC. 15.
There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of
provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and
cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework
of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the
Philippines.
SEC. 16.
The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure that the laws are
faithfully executed.
SEC. 17.
All powers, functions, and responsibilities not granted by this Constitution or by law to the autonomous
regions shall be vested in the National Government.
SEC. 18.
The Congress shall enact an organic act for each autonomous region with the assistance and
participation of the regional consultative commission composed of representatives appointed by the
President from a list of nominees from multisectoral bodies. The organic act shall define the basic
structure of government from the region consisting of the executive department and legislative assembly,
both of which shall be reflective and representative of the constituent political units. The organic acts shall
likewise provide for special courts with personal, family, and property law jurisdiction consistent with the
provisions of this Constitution and national laws.
The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by majority of the votes cast by
the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that only provinces, cities, and
geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region.
SEC. 19.
The first Congress elected under this Constitution shall, within eighteen months from the time of
organization of both Houses, pass the organic acts for the autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and
the Cordilleras.
SEC. 20.
Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national laws, the
organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over:

(1) Administrative organization;


(2) Creation of sources of revenues;
(3) Ancestral domain and natural resources;
(4) Personal, family, and property relations;
(5) Regional urban and rural planning development;
(6) Economic, social, and tourism development;
(7) Educational policies;
(8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and
(9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people
of the region.
SEC. 21.
The preservation of peace and order within the regions shall be the responsibility of the local police
agencies which shall be organized, maintained, supervised, and utilized in accordance with applicable
laws. The defense and security of the regions shall be the responsibility of the National Government.

August 1, 1989
REPUBLIC ACT No. 6734
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR AN ORGANIC ACT FOR THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM
MINDANAO
Preamble
The people of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to
develop a just and humane society and establish an Autonomous Regional Government that is truly
reflective of their ideals and aspirations within the framework of the Constitution and national sovereignty,
as well as the territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines, and to secure to themselves and their
posterity the blessings of autonomy, democracy, peace, justice and equality, do ordain and promulgate
this Organic Act through the Congress of the Philippines.
ARTICLE I
Name and Purpose
Section 1. The name of the Autonomous Region shall be the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
unless provided otherwise by Congress upon the recommendation of the Regional Legislative Assembly.
Section 2. It is the purpose of this Organic Act to establish the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,
to provide its basic structure of government within the framework of the Constitution and national
sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines, and to ensure the peace and
equality before the law of all people in the Autonomous Region.
ARTICLE II
The Autonomous Region

AREA AND SEAT OF GOVERNMENT


Section 1. (1) There is hereby created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, to be composed of
provinces and cities voting favorably in the plebiscite called for the purpose, in accordance with Section
18, Article X of the Constitution.
(2) The plebiscite shall be conducted in the provinces of Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del
Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi,
Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur, and the cities of Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General
Santos, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga.
Section 2. The Regional Legislative Assembly, hereinafter referred to as the Regional Assembly, shall fix
by law the permanent seat of government for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, taking into
consideration accessibility and efficiency in carrying out its mandate under this Act: Provided, That the
provisional seat of the Regional Government shall be in Cotabato City.
ARTICLE III
Guiding Principles And Policies
Section 1. The area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao shall remain an integral and
inseparable part of the national territory of the Republic of the Philippines as defined by the Constitution
and existing laws.
The people of the Autonomous Region shall uphold the Constitution as the fundamental law of the land
and unequivocally owe allegiance and fidelity to the Republic of the Philippines.
The Autonomous Region shall be governed and administered in accordance with this Organic Act.
Section 2. The Regional Government shall adopt the policy of settlement of conflicts by peaceful means,
and renounce any form of lawless violence as an instrument of redress.
Section 3. The Regional Government shall adopt a policy on local autonomy whereby regional powers
shall be devolved to local government units where appropriate: Provided, however, That until a regional
law implementing this provision is enacted, the local Government Code shall be applicable.
Section 4. Highly urbanized cities within the Autonomous Region shall continue to be governed by their
charters. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as to diminish the powers and functions already enjoyed
by these cities.
Section 5. The Regional Government shall adopt measures to ensure mutual respect for and protection
of the distinct beliefs, customs, and traditions among its inhabitants in the spirit of unity in diversity and
peaceful co-existence: Provided, That no person in the Autonomous Region shall, on the basis of creed,
religion, ethnic origin, parentage or sex, be subjected to any form of discrimination.
Section 6. The Regional Government shall adopt educational policies that are responsive to and
reflective of the special needs of the people, with due respect to the beliefs, customs and traditions of the
inhabitants of the Region.

Section 7. The Regional Government shall endeavor to improve the well-being of all its constituents,
particularly the marginalized, deprived, disadvantaged, underprivileged and disabled.
Section 8. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and this Organic Act, and national development
policies and programs, the Regional Government shall have authority, power and right in the exploration,
development and utilization of its natural resources: Provided, That the indigenous cultural communities
shall have priority rights in the areas designated parts of the ancestral domain.
Section 9. The Autonomous Region shall provide manpower training programs, create livelihood and job
opportunities, allocate equitable preferential rights to its inhabitants, and adopt laws that will safeguard
the rights of workers.
Section 10. The Regional Government shall uphold and protect the fundamental rights of women and
children. In no case shall women and children be exploited, abused or discriminated against.
Section 11. The Regional Government shall provide, maintain, and ensure the delivery of basic health
education and services.
Section 12. The Regional Government shall provide incentives for prompt payment of taxes.
Section 13. The National Government shall provide financial assistance to the Autonomous Region by
appropriating such sums as may be necessary to accelerate the development of the Region.
ARTICLE
Devolution of Powers

IV

Section 1. The fundamental rights and duties of the people in the Autonomous Region are those
established in the Constitution and this Organic Act.
Section 2. The powers devolved to the Autonomous Region shall be exercised through the Regional
Assembly, the Regional Governor, and the special courts as provided in this Act.
ARTICLE
Powers of Government

Section 1. The Regional Government shall exercise powers and functions necessary for the proper
governance and development of all the constituent units within the Autonomous Region consistent with
the constitutional policy on regional and local autonomy and decentralization: Provided, That nothing
herein shall authorize the diminution of the powers and functions already enjoyed by local government
units.
Section 2. The Autonomous Region is a corporate entity with jurisdiction in all matters devolved to it by
the Constitution and this Organic Act as herein enumerated:
1. Administrative organization;
2. Creation of sources of revenues;

3. Ancestral domain and natural resources;


4. Personal, family and property relations;
5. Regional, urban and rural planning development;
6. Economic, social, and tourism development;
7. Educational policies;
8. Preservation and development of the cultural heritage;
9. Powers, functions and responsibilities now being exercised by the departments of the National
Government except:
1. Foreign affairs;
2. National defense and security;
3. Postal service;
4. Coinage, and fiscal and monetary policies;
5. Administration of justice;
6. Quarantine;
7. Customs and tariff;
8. Citizenship;
9. Naturalization, immigration and deportation;
10. General auditing, civil service and elections;
11. Foreign trade;
12. Maritime, land and air transportation and communications that affect areas outside the
Autonomous Region; and
13. Patents, trademarks, trade names, and copyrights; and
10. Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the
people
of
the
Region.

Section 3. The Regional Government may exercise the power of eminent domain.

ARTICLE
Inter-Governmental Relations

VI

Section 1. The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over the Regional
Government, including the local government units therein, directly or through the Regional Governor, to
ensure that national and regional laws are faithfully executed.
Section 2. The Regional Government shall maintain close coordination with the National Government for
the orderly management of the special courts within the Autonomous Region.
ARTICLE
The Legislative Department

VII

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Regional Assembly, except to the extent reserved
to the people by provisions on initiative and referendum as provided by law.
Section 2. The Regional Assembly may create, divide, merge, abolish or substantially alter boundaries of
any municipality or barangay in accordance with the criteria laid down by existing law subject to approval
by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. It may also change the
names of such local government units, public places and institutions.
Section 3. The Regional Assembly shall approve the budget of the Autonomous Region.
Section 4. The Regional Assembly shall be composed of Members elected by popular vote, with three (3)
members elected from each of the congressional districts.
Section 5. The Members of the Regional Assembly shall have a term of three (3) years which shall begin,
unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the 31st day of March next following their election.
No Member of the Regional Assembly shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms. Voluntary
renunciation of or removal from office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in
the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.
Section 6. In case of vacancy in the Regional Assembly occurring at least one year before the expiration
of the term of office, a special election shall be called to fill the vacancy in the manner prescribed by
regional law: Provided, That the Member elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.
Section 7. No person shall be a Member of the Regional Assembly unless he is:
(1)
A
natural-born
citizen
of
the
Philippines;
(2)
At
least
twenty-one
(21)
years
of
age
on
the
day
of
the
election;
(3)
Able
to
read
and
write;
(4) A registered voter of the district in which he shall be elected on the day he files his certificate of
candidacy;
and
(5) A resident thereof for a period of not less than five (5) years immediately preceding the day of the
election.

Section 8. Every Member of the Regional Assembly shall take an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines before taking his seat.
Section 9. Unless otherwise provided by Congress, a Member of the Regional Assembly shall receive an
annual salary of One hundred twenty thousand pesos (P120,000.00) except the Speaker of the Regional
Assembly who shall receive an annual salary of One Hundred forty-four thousand pesos (P144,000.00).
They shall not receive during their tenure any other emoluments from the Government.
Section 10. Any Member of the Regional Assembly who accepts an appointment and qualifies for any
position in the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries,
shall automatically forfeit his seat in the Regional Assembly.
Section 11. All Members of the Regional Assembly shall, upon their assumption of office, make a full
disclosure of their financial and business interests, including those of their spouses and unmarried
children under eighteen (18) years of age living in their households. They shall notify the Assembly of any
potential conflict of interest that may arise from the filing of measures of which they are authors.
Any Member found guilty of non-disclosure as required under This section may be expelled by a twothirds (2/3) vote of all the Members of the Regional Assembly, without prejudice to his other liabilities
under pertinent legislation.
Section 12. No Member of the Regional Assembly may personally appear as counsel before courts of
justice or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be
interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the
Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or
controlled corporation or its subsidiary, during his term of office. He shall not intervene in any matter
before any office of the Government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on
account of his office.
Section 13. No Member shall be questioned or be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate
in the Assembly or in any committee thereof.
Section 14. The Regional Assembly shall adopt its own rules of procedure by a majority vote of all its
Members including the selection of members of its standing committees and the suspension or expulsion
of its Members.
The Regional Assembly shall elect from among its Members a Speaker and such other officers as the
rules may provide.
A majority of all the Members of Assembly shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number
may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such manner, and
under such penalties, as the Assembly may provide.
The Regional Assembly or any of its committees may conduct inquiries or public consultations in aid of
legislation in accordance with its rules. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries
shall be respected.

The Regional Assembly shall keep a Journal of its proceedings and a record of its caucuses and
meetings. The records and books of accounts of the Assembly shall be preserved and be open to public
scrutiny. The Commission on Audit shall publish an annual report of the itemized list of expenditures
incurred by the Members of the Assembly within sixty (60) days from the end of every regular session.
Section 15. The Regional Assembly may request the presence of the Regional Governor, Regional ViceGovernor, Cabinet members or their deputies, as the rules shall provide, for questioning on matters falling
within the scope of their responsibilities.
Subject to the rules of the Regional Assembly, the legislative power to inquire on matters relating to the
exercise of administrative functions by an agency of government within the Autonomous Region shall be
in the form of written questions.
Section 16. Except as provided by its rules, the Regional Assembly shall meet in open session. Regular
session shall commence on the 4th Monday of April and shall continue to be in session for such number
of days as may be determined by the Assembly until thirty (30) days before the opening of its next regular
session, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
The Regional Assembly may meet in special sessions at the request of one-third (1/3) of all its Members
or by call of the Regional Governor. Such special session must be convened with a special agenda.
Section 17. No bill shall become a law of regional application unless it has passed three (3) readings on
separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three (3)
days before its passage, except when the Regional Governor certifies to the necessity of its immediate
enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency.
Section 18. Every bill passed by the Regional Assembly, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to
the Regional Governor. If he approves the same, he shall sign it; otherwise, if the bill contain ultra vires
provisions, or if he finds it objectionable on policy grounds, or both, he shall veto it and return it with his
objections to the Regional Assembly, which shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed
to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds (2/3) of all Members of the Regional Assembly
shall agree to pass the bill, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the vote shall be determined by yeas
or nays, and the names of the Members voting for or against shall be entered in the Journal. The
Regional Governor shall communicate his veto of any bill to the Regional Assembly within thirty (30) days
after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it.
Section 19. The Speaker of the Regional Assembly shall, within ten (10) working days from approval
thereof, submit to the President and to both Houses of Congress a certified true copy of all laws and
resolutions approved by the Regional Assembly.
ARTICLE
The Executive Department

VIII

Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in a Regional Governor who shall be elected at large by
direct vote of the people of the Autonomous Region.

Section 2. The Regional Governor shall be assisted by a Cabinet of nine (9) members, at least four of
whom shall preferably come from indigenous cultural communities: Provided, That the members shall, as
far as practicable, come from various provinces and cities within the Autonomous Region.
The members of the Cabinet must be registered voters and residents of the Region for at least five (5)
years immediately preceding their appointment.
The Regional Governor shall appoint the members of the Cabinet subject to confirmation by the Regional
Assembly.
Section 3. No person may be elected Governor of the Autonomous Region unless he is a natural-born
citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter of the Autonomous Region, able to read and write, at least
thirty-five (35) years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Autonomous Region for at
least five (5) years immediately preceding the election.
Section 4. There shall be a Vice-Governor of the Autonomous Region who shall have the same
qualifications and term of office and be elected with and in the same manner as the Regional Governor.
He may be removed from office in the same manner as the Regional Governor. The Vice-Governor may
be appointed as a member of the Regional Cabinet without need of confirmation by the Regional
Assembly.
Section 5. The Vice-Governor shall likewise be elected by direct vote of the people of the Autonomous
Region.
Section 6. (1) The term of office of the Governor and Vice-Governor shall be for a period of three (3)
years which shall begin at noon on the 31st day of March next following the day of the election and shall
end
at
noon
of
the
same
date
three
years
thereafter.
(2) No Governor or Vice-Governor shall serve for more than two (2) consecutive terms. Voluntary
renunciation of or removal from office for any length of time shall not be considered an interruption in the
continuity
of
the
service
for
the
full
term
for
which
he
was
elected.

Section 7. Before they enter on the execution of their office, the Regional Governor and the ViceGovernor shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully
and conscientiously fulfill my duties as Governor (or Vice-Governor) of the Regional Autonomous
Government, preserve and defend the Constitution of the Republic, the Organic Act for the Autonomous
Region, and the national and regional laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service
of the Autonomous Region and the nation. So help me God." (In case of Affirmation, last sentence will be
omitted.)
Section 8. Unless otherwise provided by Congress, the annual compensation of the Regional Governor
and Vice-Governor shall be One hundred eighty thousand pesos (P180,000.00) and One hundred fortyfour thousand pesos (P144,000.00), respectively. They shall not receive during their tenure any other
emoluments from the Government.
Section 9. The Regional Governor shall be provided with a reasonable housing allowance by the
Regional Assembly.

Section 10. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the Governor,
the Vice-Governor shall become the Governor to serve the unexpired term. In case of death, permanent
disability, removal from office, or the resignation of both the Governor and the Vice-Governor, the Speaker
of the Regional Assembly shall act as Governor until the Governor and Vice-Governor are elected and
qualified in a special election called for the purpose; Provided, That upon assumption as Acting Governor,
the Speaker of the Regional Assembly shall temporarily vacate his position as such and an interim
Speaker shall be elected: Provided, further, That upon the election and assumption of office of the new
Regional Governor, the Speaker shall reassume his office.
No special election shall be called to fill a vacancy occurring within one year immediately preceding the
next regular election.
Section 11. In case of temporary incapacity of the Regional Governor to perform his duties on account of
physical or legal causes, or when he is on official leave of absence or travel outside the territorial
jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines, the Vice-Governor, or if there be none or in case of his
permanent or temporary incapacity or refusal to assume office, the Speaker of the Regional Assembly
shall exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Regional Governor.
Section 12. The Regional Governor or the Vice-Governor may be removed from office for culpable
violation of the Constitution or this Organic Act, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes or
betrayal of public trust by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of all the Members of the Regional Assembly.
The Regional Assembly may initiate the removal of the Regional Governor or the Vice-Governor under
this Section by a majority vote of all its Members.
The Regional Assembly shall promulgate the necessary rules to carry out effectively the purposes of this
Section.
Section 13. The Regional Governor or the Vice-Governor may be recalled once during his term of office
for loss of confidence.
The Regional Assembly shall provide the procedure and system whereby such recall can be made:
Provided, That no recall shall take place within one year from the date of the official's assumption of office
or one year immediately preceding a regional election.
Section 14. The Regional Governor, the Vice-Governor, and the Members of the Cabinet and their
deputies shall not hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said
tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be financially
interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or
their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflicts of interest in the conduct of their office.
The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree of the Governor shall
not, during his tenure, be appointed members of the regional Cabinet or chairmen of regional
commissions, or heads of bureaus or offices, including government-owned or controlled corporations and
their subsidiaries located in the Autonomous Region.

Section 15. Appointments extended by the Acting Governor within ninety (90) days before the
assumption of office by the elected Governor shall remain effective, unless revoked by the elected
Governor within ninety (90) days from such assumption or resumption of office.
Section 16. The Regional Governor shall not issue appointments, remove personnel, or unless
authorized by the Commission on Elections, undertake public works projects, within the prohibited period
before and after a regional election as provided by law.
Section 17. The Regional Governor shall appoint, in addition to the members of the Cabinet, their
deputies, the chairmen and members of the commissions and the heads of bureaus of the Regional
Government, and those whom he may be authorized by regional law to appoint. The Regional Assembly
may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers or officials lower in rank in the heads of departments,
agencies, commissions, or boards.
Section 18. Subject to the exceptions provided for in this Organic Act, the Regional Governor shall have
control of all the regional executive commissions, boards, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the
laws be faithfully executed. The Regional Governor shall exercise general supervision over the local
government units within the Autonomous Region: Provided, however, That nothing herein shall authorize
the diminution of the powers and functions already enjoyed by local government units.
Section 19. (1) The Regional Governor shall submit to the Regional Assembly not later than two (2)
months before the beginning of every regular session, as the basis of the regional appropriations bill, a
budget of expenditures and sources of financing, including receipts from existing and proposed revenue
measures.
The fiscal year of the Autonomous Region shall cover the period April 1 to March 31 of the succeeding
year.
(2) The Regional Assembly may not increase the appropriations recommended by the Regional Governor
for the operation of the Autonomous Government as specified in the budget. The form, content and
manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by regional law: Provided, however, That pending
the enactment of such regional law, the budgeting process shall be governed by existing national laws
and rules and regulations prescribed by the Department of Budget and Management.
(3) No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the regional appropriations bill unless it relates
specifically to some particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its
operation to the appropriation to which it relates.
(4) The procedure in approving appropriations for the Regional Assembly shall strictly follow the
procedure for approving appropriations for other departments and agencies of the Regional Government.
(5) A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for which it is intended, and shall be supported
by funds actually available as certified by the Regional Treasurer, or to be raised by a corresponding
revenue proposal therein.
(6) No regional law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the Regional
Governor may, by regional law, be authorized to augment any item for his office from savings in other
items of the appropriations for his office.

(7) Discretionary funds appropriated for particular officials shall be disbursed only for public purposes to
be supported by appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines as may be prescribed by regional
law.
Section 20. If, by the end of the fiscal year, the Regional Assembly shall have failed to pass the regional
appropriations bill for ensuing fiscal year, the Regional Appropriations Act for the preceding fiscal year
shall be deemed automatically reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until the regional
appropriations bill is passed by the Regional Assembly.
Section 21. The Regional Governor shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an
appropriation or revenue bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object.
The veto may be reconsidered by the Assembly by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all its Members.
Section 22. (1) No money shall be paid out of the Regional Treasury except in pursuance of an
appropriation made by regional law.
(2) No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid or employed, directly or indirectly, for
the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion
or of any priest, imam, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such, except when
such priest, imam, preacher, minister or dignitary is assigned to the regional police force or to any penal
institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium within the Region.
(3) All money collected on any regional tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund
and paid out for such special purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund was created has been
fulfilled or abandoned, the balance, if any, shall accrue to the general funds of the Regional Government.
(4) No funds or resources shall be disbursed unless duly approved by the Regional Governor or by his
duly authorized representative.
(5) Trust funds shall only be paid out of the Regional Treasury upon fulfillment of the specific purpose for
which said funds were created or received.
Section 23. The Regional Governor shall inform the Regional Assembly every quarter on the conduct of
regional affairs and the state of regional finances.
Section 24. The financial accounts of the expenditures and revenues of the Autonomous Region shall be
audited by the Commission on Audit.
The financial accounts of the Autonomous Region, including all payments from the reserve fund, shall be
submitted by the Regional Governor to the Regional Assembly, together with the statement of audit
prepared by the Commission on Audit within ten (10) working days from receipt thereof.
Section 25. The Regional Governor shall address the Regional Assembly at the opening of its regular
session. He may also appear before it at any time. The Regional Assembly may invite the President and
other government officials to address it.
ARTICLE
Administration of Justice

IX

Section 1. The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and other courts established by law shall continue
to exercise their judicial powers as provided by the Constitution and national laws.
Section 2. There is hereby created a Shari'ah Appellate Court which, together with other Shari'ah and
tribal courts, shall have jurisdiction over cases involving persons, family and property relations.
The Regional Assembly shall, in consultation with the Supreme Court, determine the number and the
territorial jurisdiction of these courts.
Shari'ah Appellate Court
Section 3. The Shari'ah Appellate Court shall be composed of one (1) Presiding Justice and two (2)
Associate Justices. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety (90) days from the occurrence thereof.
Section 4. (1) The Justices of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall possess the same qualification as those
of the Justices of the Court of Appeals and, in addition, shall also be learned in Islamic law and
jurisprudence.
(2) The members of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least
three (3) nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council. The nominees shall be chosen from a list of
recommendees submitted by the Regional Assembly. Such appointments need no confirmation.
Section 5. The Shari'ah Appellate Court shall have the following powers:
(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, habeas corpus, and
other auxiliary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction; and
(2) Exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases tried in the Shari'ah District Courts as
established by law.
Section 6. The decisions of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall be final and executory: Provided, however,
That nothing herein contained shall affect the original and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as
provided in the Constitution.
Section 7. The Presiding and Associate Justices of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall serve until they
reach the age of seventy (70) years, unless sooner removed for cause in the same manner as Justices of
the Court of Appeals or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.
Section 8. The Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall receive the
same compensation and enjoy the same privileges as the Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the
Court of Appeals, respectively.
Section 9. (1) The Supreme Court shall, upon recommendation of the Presiding Justice of the Shari'ah
Appellate Court, appoint the court administrator and clerk of court of said Appellate Court. Such other
personnel as may be necessary for the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall be appointed by the Presiding
Justice of said court.

(2) The pertinent provisions of existing law regarding the qualifications, appointment, compensation,
functions, duties and other matters relative to the personnel of the Court of Appeals shall apply to those of
the Shari'ah Appellate Court.
Section 10. The Members of the Shari'ah Appellate Court and of other Shari'ah Appellate courts
established by law shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative
functions.
Section 11. The official seat of the Shari'ah Appellate Court shall, unless the Supreme Court decides
otherwise, be in the seat of the Autonomous Government.
Section 12. Proceedings in the Shari'ah Appellate Court and in the Shari'ah lower courts as are
established in the Autonomous Regional shall be governed by such special rules as the Supreme Court
may promulgate.
Shari'ah Courts
Section 13. The Shari'ah District Courts and the Shari'ah Circuit Courts created under existing laws shall
continue to function as provided therein. The judges of the Shari'ah courts shall have the same
qualifications as the judges of the Regional Trial Courts, the Metropolitan Trial Courts or the Municipal
Trial Courts as the case may be in. In addition, they must be learned in Islamic law and jurisprudence.
Tribal Courts
Section 14. There is hereby created a system of tribal courts, which may include a Tribal Appellate Court,
for the indigenous cultural communities in the Autonomous Region. These courts shall determine, settle
and decide controversies and enforce decisions involving personal, family and property rights in
accordance with the tribal codes of these communities. The Regional Assembly shall define their
composition and jurisdiction in accordance with this Act.
Jurisconsult in Islamic Law
Section 15. Provisions to put into effect the organization of the Office of Jurisconsult in Islamic Laws as
established under existing law and facilities for its proper functioning shall receive priority consideration.
Customary Law
Section 16. The Regional Assembly shall provide for the codification of indigenous laws and compilation
of customary laws in the Autonomous Region.
Application and Interpretation of Laws
Section 17. (1) The provisions of the Muslim Code and the Tribal Code shall be applicable only to
Muslims and other members of indigenous cultural communities respectively and nothing herein shall be
construed to operate to the prejudice of non-Muslims and nonmembers of indigenous cultural
communities.
(2) In case of conflict between the Muslim Code and the Tribal Code, the national law shall apply.

(3) In case of conflict between the Muslim Code or the Tribal Code on the one hand, and the national law
on the other, the latter shall prevail.
(4) Except in cases of successional rights, the regular courts shall acquire jurisdiction over controversies
involving real property located outside the area of autonomy.
Section 18. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Shari'ah courts shall interpret Islamic law
based on sources such as:
(1) Al-Qur'an (The Koran);
(2) Al-Sunnah (Prophetic traditions);
(3) Al-Qiyas (Analogy); and
(4) Al-Jima (Consensus).
ARTICLE
Fiscal Autonomy

Section 1. The Autonomous Region shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues and to
levy taxes, fees and charges, subject to such guidelines and limitations as the Constitution and this
Organic Act may provide, consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy.
Section 2. In enacting revenue-raising measures, the Regional Assembly shall observe the principle of
uniformity and equity in taxation and shall not impose confiscatory taxes and fees of any kind. Income
taxation, however, shall be solely the concern and prerogative of the National Government.
The Regional Assembly shall not revoke or amend, directly or indirectly, any city or municipal ordinances
imposing taxes or fees on purely local businesses.
No tax, impost or assessment shall be imposed or charged upon goods or merchandise coming into,
going out of, or passing through the Autonomous Region to other places of the Philippines, and vice
versa.
Section 3. All corporations, partnerships, and other business entities directly engaged in business in the
Autonomous Region shall pay through the Regional Government that portion of their annual income tax
corresponding to the net income generated from business done in the area of autonomy.
All corporations, partnerships or business entities directly engaged in business in the Autonomous Region
shall pay their corresponding taxes, fees, and charges in the province, city, or municipality where the
establishment is doing business.
Section 4. The sources of revenues of the Autonomous Region shall include, but are not limited to, the
following:
(1) Taxes, except income taxes, imposed by the Regional Government;

(2) Fees and charges imposed by the Regional Government;


(3) Appropriations, internal revenue allotments and other budgetary allotments from the National
Government;
(4) Shares in revenues generated from the operations of public utilities within the Autonomous Region;
and
(5) Block grants derived from economic agreements or conventions authorized by the Autonomous
Region, donations, endowments, foreign assistance, and other forms of aid, subject to the Constitution
and national policies.
Section 5. The total collections of a province or city from national internal revenue taxes, fees and
charges, and taxes imposed on natural resources, shall be distributed as follows:
(a) Thirty percent (30%) to the province or city;
(b) Thirty percent (30%) to the Regional Government; and
(c) Forty percent (40%) to the National Government.
The thirty percent (30%) share of the province shall be distributed equally as follows: ten percent (10%) to
the province, ten percent (10%) to the municipality and ten percent (10%) to the barangay.
The thirty percent (30%) share of the city shall be distributed as follows: twenty percent (20%) to the city
and ten percent (10%) to the barangay.
The province or city concerned shall automatically retain its share and remit the seventy percent (70%) to
the Regional Government, which shall, after deducting its share, remit the balance to the National
Government on a monthly basis.
The remittance procedure within the Autonomous Region shall be in accordance with the rules and
regulations promulgated by the Regional Government, and remittances to the National Government by
the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Finance.
Section 6. Subject to the Constitution and national policies, the Regional Government shall evolve a
system of economic agreements and trade compacts to generate block grants for regional investments
and improvements of regional economic structures. These economic agreements shall be authorized by
regional legislation or by executive agreement. Pursuant to specific recommendations from the Regional
Planning and Development Board, the Regional Government shall assist local government units in their
requirements for counterpart funds for foreign assisted projects.
Section 7. Donations or grants to the Regional Government exclusively to finance, to provide, for, or to be
used in undertaking projects in education, health, youth and culture, and in economic development, shall
be deductible in full in determining the taxable income of the donor or grantor.
Section 8. The Regional Assembly may grant exemptions from regional taxes, only with the concurrence
of a majority of all the Members of the Assembly.

Section 9. Foreign loans may be contracted only in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution
and national laws: Provided, That the Regional Governor may contract domestic loans subject to the
approval by the Regional Assembly.
ARTICLE
Ancestral Domain, Ancestral Lands and Agrarian Reform

XI

Section 1. Subject to the Constitution and national policies, the Regional Government shall undertake
measures to protect the ancestral domain and the ancestral lands of indigenous cultural communities.
All lands and natural resources in the Autonomous Region that have been possessed or occupied by
indigenous cultural communities since time immemorial, except when prevented by war, force majeure, or
other forms of forcible usurpation, shall form part of the ancestral domain. Such ancestral domain shall
include pasture lands, worship areas, burial grounds, forests and fields, mineral resources, except:
strategic minerals such as uranium, coal, petroleum, and other fossil fuels, mineral oils, and all sources of
potential energy; lakes, rivers and lagoons; and national reserves and marine parks, as well as forest and
watershed reservations.
Lands in the actual, open, notorious, and uninterrupted possession and occupation by an indigenous
cultural community for at least thirty (30) years are ancestral lands.
Section 2. The constructive or traditional possession of lands and resources by an indigenous cultural
community may also be recognized subject to judicial affirmation, the petition for which shall be instituted
within a period of ten (10) years from the effectivity of this Act. The procedure for judicial affirmation of
imperfect titles under existing laws shall, as far as practicable, apply to the judicial affirmation of titles to
ancestral lands.
The foregoing provisions notwithstanding, titles secured under the Torrens system, and rights already
vested under the provisions of existing laws shall be respected.
Section 3. As used in this Act, the phrase "indigenous cultural community" refers to Filipino citizens
residing in the Autonomous Region who are:
(1) Tribal peoples whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sectors of
the national community and whose status is regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or
traditions or by special laws or regulations; and
(2) Bangsa Moro people regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations that
inhabited the country or a distinct geographical area at the time of conquest or colonization and who,
irrespective of their legal status, retain some or all of their own socioeconomic, cultural and political
institutions.
Section 4. The customary laws, traditions, and practices of indigenous cultural communities on land
claims and ownership and settlement of land disputes shall be implemented and enforced among the
members of such community.

Section 5. The Regional Government shall require corporations, companies and other entities within the
ancestral domain of the indigenous cultural communities whose operations adversely affect the ecological
balance to take the necessary preventive measures and safeguards in order to maintain such a balance.
Section 6. Unless authorized by the Regional Assembly, lands of the ancestral domain titled to or owned
by an indigenous cultural community shall not be disposed of to nonmembers.
Section 7. No portion of the ancestral domain shall be open to resettlement by nonmembers of the
indigenous cultural communities.
Section 8. Subject to the Constitution and national policies, the Regional Assembly shall enact an
Agrarian Reform Law suitable to the special circumstances prevailing in the Autonomous Region.
ARTICLE
Urban and Rural Planning and Development

XII

Section 1. The Regional Government shall promote and formulate comprehensive and integrated
regional urban and rural development policies, plans, programs and projects responsive to the needs,
aspirations and values of the people within the Region.
Section 2. Immediately after its organization, the Regional Government shall initiate, formulate and
implement special development programs and projects, responsive to the particular aspirations, needs
and values of the indigenous cultural communities.
Section 3. The Regional Government shall provide equitable opportunities for the development of every
province, city, municipality and barangay within its jurisdiction and shall strengthen their existing planning
bodies to ensure wider public participation.
Section 4. Consistent with the Constitution and national policies, and subject to ecological
considerations, the Regional Government shall adopt and implement a comprehensive urban land reform
and land use program, to ensure the just utilization of lands within its jurisdiction.
Section 5. There is hereby created a Regional Planning and Development Board which shall be
composed of all the provincial governors and city mayors, two (2) members of the Regional Assembly to
be designated by the Speaker, and such other members as may be prescribed by the Regional Assembly:
Provided, That the private sector shall be represented therein.
The Board shall serve as the planning, monitoring and coordinating agency for the Autonomous Region. It
shall identify, evaluate, and recommend the annual work programs and comprehensive development
plans of the Autonomous Region to the Regional Assembly, to ensure their proper implementation.
The Board shall formulate a Magna Carta for the Development of the Region to serve as the master plan
for a systematic, progressive and total development of the Region.
ARTICLE
Economy and Patrimony

XIII

Section 1. Consistent with the Constitution and national policies, the Regional Government may enact
regional laws pertaining to the national economy and patrimony applicable and responsive to the needs of
the Region. However, nothing herein shall be construed as to authorize the Regional Government to
require lesser standards respecting the protection, conservation and enhancement of the natural
resources than those required by the National Government.
Section 2. Except for strategic minerals such as uranium, coal, petroleum, and other fossil fuels, mineral
oils, all sources of potential energy, as well as national reserves and aquatic parks, forest and watershed
reservations as may be delimited by national law, the control and supervision over the exploration,
utilization and development of the natural resources of the Autonomous Region is hereby delegated to the
Regional Government in accordance with the Constitution and national laws.
The Regional Assembly shall have the authority to grant franchises and concessions but the Regional
Governor may, by regional law, be authorized to grant leases, permits and licenses: Provided, That, any
lease, permit, franchise or concession shall cover an area not exceeding the limits allowed by the
Constitution and shall subsist for a period not exceeding twenty-five (25) years; Provided, further, That
existing leases, permits, licenses, franchises and concessions shall be respected until their expiration
unless legally terminated as provided by law; and Provided, finally, That when the natural resources are
located within the ancestral domain, the permit, license, franchise or concession, shall be approved by the
Regional Assembly after consultation with the cultural community concerned.
Section 3. The exploration, development and utilization of natural resources, except those enumerated in
the first paragraph of Section 2 hereof, shall be allowed to all Filipinos and to private enterprises,
including corporations, associations, cooperatives, and such other similar collective organizations with at
least sixty percent (60%) of their capital investment or capital stocks directly controlled or owned by
Filipinos who are preferably residents of the Region.
Section 4. Small-scale mining shall receive support from and be regulated by the Regional Government,
considering ecological balance, the safety and health and the interest of the communities and the miners
where such operations are conducted.
Section 5. The Regional Government may, in the interest of regional welfare and security, establish and
operate pioneering utilities. Upon payment of just compensation, it may transfer the ownership of such
utilities to cooperatives or other collective organizations.
Section 6. The Regional Government may, in times of regional emergency declared by the President,
when the public interest so requires and under reasonable terms and safeguards prescribed by the
Regional Assembly, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or
business affected with public interest.
Section 7. The Regional Assembly shall enact laws for the just compensation, rehabilitation, relocation,
and other similar measures of inhabitants adversely affected in the harnessing of natural and mineral
resources in the Region.
The Regional Assembly shall likewise provide for the rehabilitation of the areas affected by said
harnessing of natural and mineral resources in the Region.

Section 8. The Regional Government shall actively and immediately pursue reforestation measures to
ensure that at least fifty (50%) of the land surface of the Autonomous Region shall be covered with trees,
giving priority to land strips along eighteen percent (18%) in slope or over by providing infrastructure,
financial and technical support to upland communities especially the Lumads or tribal peoples.
Section 9. The Regional Government shall prohibit the use, importation, deposit, disposal and dumping
of toxic or hazardous substances within the Autonomous Region.
Section 10. The Regional Government shall adopt policies to promote profit sharing and broaden the
base of ownership of business enterprises.
Section 11. The Regional Government shall provide incentives, including tax holidays, for investors in
businesses that will contribute to the development of the Region.
It shall provide the same incentives to all companies doing business in the Region which reinvest at least
fifty percent (50%) of their net profits therein, and to all cooperatives which reinvest at least ten percent
(10%) of their surplus into socially-oriented projects in the Region.
Section 12. The Regional Government shall give priority to the establishment of transportation and
communication facilities for the economic development of the region.
Section 13. In the delivery of power services, priority shall be given to provinces in the area of autonomy
which do not have direct access to such services.
Section 14. The Regional Government is hereby empowered to create pioneering firms and other
business entities needed to boost economic development in the Region.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Section 15. The Regional Government shall recognize, promote and protect the rights and welfare of
farmers, farmworkers, fishermen and fishworkers, as well as farmers, and fishworkers' cooperatives and
associations.
Section 16. The Regional Government shall encourage agricultural productivity and promote a diversified
and organic farming system.
Section 17. The Regional Government shall give top priority to the conservation, protection, utilization
and development of soil and water resources for agricultural purposes.
Section 18. The Regional Assembly shall enact on Aquatic and Fisheries Code which shall enhance,
develop, conserve and protect marine and aquatic resources, and shall protect the rights of subsistence
fishermen to the preferential use of communal marine and fishing resources, including seaweeds. This
protection shall extend to offshore fishing grounds, up to and including all waters twelve (12) nautical
miles from the coastline of the Autonomous Region but within the territorial waters of the Philippines,
regardless of depth, the seabed and the subsoil that are included between two (2) lines drawn
perpendicular to the general coastline from points where the boundary lines of the Autonomous Region
touch the sea at low tide and a third line parallel to the general coastline.

Further, it shall provide support to subsistence fishermen through appropriate technology and research,
adequate financial, production and marketing assistance and other services.
Fishworkers shall also receive a just share from their labor in the utilization of marine and fishing
resources.
Science, technology and other disciplines shall be developed and employed to protect and maintain
aquatic and marine ecology.
Section 19. The Regional Assembly may, by law, create a Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries and define
its composition, powers and functions.
Trade and Industry
Section 20. The Regional Government recognizes the private sector as the prime mover of trade,
commerce and industry. It shall encourage and support entrepreneurial capability in the Region and shall
recognize, promote and protect cooperatives.
Section 21. The Regional Government shall promote and protect small and medium-scale cottage
industries by providing assistance such as marketing opportunities, financial support, tax incentives,
appropriate and alternative technology and technical training to produce semi-finished and finished
products.
Section 22. The Regional Government shall give support and encouragement to the establishment of
banks in accordance with the principles of the Islamic banking system, subject to the supervision by the
central monetary authority of the National Government.
Section 23. Subject to national policies, the Regional Government shall regulate traditional barter trade
and countertrade with neighboring countries.
Section 24. The Regional Government shall encourage, promote, undertake and support the
establishment of economic zones, industrial centers and ports in strategic areas and growth centers of the
Region to attract local and foreign investments and business enterprises. casia
Section 25. The Regional Government shall undertake measures to promote consumer education and to
ensure that the rights, interests and welfare of the consumers are protected.
Section 26. The Regional Government shall promote the preferential use of labor and locally produced
goods and materials by adopting measures to increase their competitiveness.
Section 27. Subject to the Constitution and national policies, the Regional Government shall regulate and
exercise authority over foreign investments within its jurisdiction in accordance with its goals and
priorities.
Tourism Development
Section 28. The Regional Government shall, with the assistance of the National Government and the
participation of the private sector, develop tourism as a positive instrument toward accelerated regional

development. Tourism development shall promote greater pride in and commitment to the nation:
Provided, That the diverse cultural heritage, and moral and spiritual values of the people in the
Autonomous Region shall be primarily considered and respected.
Section 29. The Regional Assembly may, by law, create a Tourism office, and shall define its composition,
powers and functions.
ARTICLE
Public Order and Security

XIV

Section 1. The Regional Government shall give priority to the maintenance and preservation of peace
and order and the protection of life, liberty and property in the Autonomous Region, in consonance with
the provisions of the Constitution.
Section 2. The Regional Assembly shall, by law, create a Regional Police Force as an integral part of the
Philippine National Police under the administration and control of the National Police Commission. It shall
be headed by a police commissioner with two deputies, who shall all be inhabitants of the Autonomous
Region, to be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Regional
Governor.
Section 3. The regional police shall be under the supervision of the Regional Governor: Provided, That
city or municipal mayors, who are hereby constituted as representatives of the National Police
Commission, shall have operational control and supervision of the police force within their constituent
units in accordance with law and appropriate rules and regulations.
Section 4. The defense and security of the Autonomous Region shall be the responsibility of the National
Government. Towards this end, there is hereby created a regional command of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines for the Autonomous Region, which shall be organized, maintained and utilized in accordance
with national laws. The National Government shall have the authority to station and deploy in the
Autonomous Region sufficient elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines: Provided, That
inhabitants of the Autonomous Region shall be given preference in assignments therein.
Section 5. The provisions of the preceding sections notwithstanding, the Regional Governor may request
the President of the Philippines to call upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines:
(1) To prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion, when the public safety so requires, in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution;
(2) To suppress the danger to or breach of peace in the area of autonomy, when the police forces of the
autonomous Region are not able to do so; or
(3) To avert any imminent danger to public order and security in the area of autonomy.
Section 6. The Regional Government shall recognize indigenous structures or systems which promote
peace and order.
ARTICLE
Education, Science and Technology, Arts and Sports

XV

Section 1. The Autonomous Region shall establish, maintain and support a complete and integrated
system of quality education and adopt an educational framework that is meaningful, relevant and
responsive to the needs, ideals and aspirations of the people in the Region.
Educational Policies
Section 2. Consistent with the basic State policy on education, the Autonomous Region shall adopt the
following educational policies and principles:
(1) Education in the Autonomous Region shall be committed to the total spiritual, intellectual, social,
cultural, scientific and physical development of man, thus making him a God-fearing, peace-loving, and
work-oriented citizen of the nation;
(2) All schools in the Autonomous Region shall inculcate patriotism and nationalism, appreciation of the
role of national and regional heroes in the historical development of the country and region, foster love of
humanity, respect for human rights, and shall teach the rights and duties of citizenship, and the cultures of
the Muslims, Christians, and tribal peoples in the Region to develop, promote and enhance unity in
diversity;
(3) The thrust, programs and administration of vocational, non-formal and special education shall be
supported and made relevant to the manpower needs of the Region;
(4) A system of scholarship programs, grants, student loans, subsidies and other incentives shall be made
available to all poor but deserving students;
(5) The active participation of the home, community, religious organizations and other sectors in the total
educative process of the child shall be encouraged and supported;
(6) (a) A regional language may be evolved and developed from the different dialects in the Region.
(b) Filipino and English shall be the media of instruction in all schools in the Region. Major languages of
the Region shall be auxiliary media of instruction.
(c) The Arabic language shall be a compulsory subject for Muslims and optional for non-Muslims in all
schools in the Region;
(7) The education in the Autonomous Region shall develop consciousness and appreciation of one's
ethnic identity and shall provide a better understanding of each other's cultural heritage for the attainment
of national unity and harmony;
(8) The Regional Government shall recognize the participation of private institutions of learning, including
the Madaris (Arabic schools), in providing quality education to the people of the Region; and
(9) Unless otherwise provided by regional law, the Regional Government may implement a four-year
primary and a three-year intermediate education; a 2-2 secondary education; and a four-year or more
college education in schools within the Region.

Section 3. The regional educational system shall develop curricula that are relevant to the economic,
social, political, cultural, moral and spiritual needs of the people in the Region.
Educational Structure
Section 4. The Regional Assembly may, by law, create, support and maintain a Department of Education,
Culture and Sports, and shall define its powers, functions and composition.
Section 5. State colleges and universities within the Autonomous Region shall enjoy academic freedom
and fiscal autonomy and shall continue to be governed by their respective charters: Provided, That the
regional secretary of Education, Culture and Sports shall be a member of the governing boards of state
colleges and universities in the Autonomous Region.
Section 6. All state colleges and universities in the Autonomous Region shall assist and support the full
development of the people and shall serve as regional centers for tertiary and post graduate education in
their respective areas of competence.
Section 7. The Regional Assembly may establish a tribal state university system within the Autonomous
Region.
Madrasah Education
Section 8. Accredited madaris in the Autonomous Region shall be supervised by the Department of
Education, Culture and Sports.
Section 9. Appropriate regional laws shall be enacted for the strengthening and development of the
madrasah educational system in the Autonomous Region.
Science and Technology
Section 10. Science and technology are recognized as essential to national and regional progress and
development.
Section 11. The Regional Assembly shall enact laws that shall:
(1) Give priority to science, research, inventions, technology, education, and their development and
utilization;
(2) Provide incentives, including tax deductions and funding assistance, and encourage private
participation in basic and applied scientific researches;
(3) Regulate the transfer and promote the adoption of technology from all sources for regional benefit;
(4) Secure and protect the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, scholars, writers, artists and other
gifted citizens to their intellectual properties; and

(5) Introduce the full and effective participation of all sectors in the planning, programming, coordination
and implementation of scientific and technological researches and the acquisition, adoption, innovation
and application of science and technology for development.
Physical Education and Sports Development
Section 12. The educational system shall develop and maintain an integrated and comprehensive
physical education program. It shall develop healthy, disciplined, creative, innovative, productive
individuals, and promote the spirit of sportsmanship, cooperation, teamwork, goodwill and understanding.
Section 13. The system shall encourage and support sports programs, league competitions, indigenous
games, martial arts and amateur sports, including training for regional, national and international
competitions.
Cultural Heritage
Section 14. The cultural heritage of the people of the Autonomous Region shall be an integral component
of regional development.
Section 15. The Regional Government shall recognize, respect, protect, preserve, revive, develop,
promote and enhance the culture, customs, traditions, beliefs and practices of the people in the area of
autonomy. It shall encourage and undertake the recovery, collection, collation and restoration of historical
and cultural properties for posterity.
Section 16. A Bureau on Cultural Heritage may be created to plan, initiate, implement and monitor
cultural programs, projects and activities that shall institutionalize the preservation and enhancement of
the positive elements of the indigenous culture of the inhabitants of the Autonomous Region. It shall
coordinate with other concerned agencies engaged in similar and related activities.
ARTICLE
Social Justice, Services, Institutions, and Other Concerns

XVI

Section 1. The promotion of social justice shall include the commitment to create social, political and
economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative, resourcefulness and self-reliance.
Section 2. (1) The Regional Assembly shall, consistent with the provisions of the Constitution and
national policies, enact measures to provide and expand health and welfare services.
(2) The Regional Government shall establish and maintain an effective food and drug regulatory system.
It shall encourage the rational use of drugs through an essential drugs list and the use of generic
medicines or drugs, as well as promote the use of herbal medicines and indigenous health resources
whenever appropriate.
(3) The Regional Assembly shall enact further legislation on the following:
(a) Child health and development, including the support of the handicapped and other disadvantaged
persons in need of welfare services;

(b) Condition of women and status of indigenous population;


(c) Registration of births, marriages and deaths; and
(d) Fixing of regional public holidays.
Section 3. The Regional Government, in cooperation with the private sector, shall evolve its own housing
program that will provide adequate, low-cost, and decent housing facilities and other basic services to the
residents of the Region, especially the underprivileged.
Section 4. The Regional Assembly shall within one (1) year from its organization enact measures
embodying reintegration programs responsive to the needs of returnees and rejoinees. A rehabilitation
program shall be provided for displaced persons or communities and victims of manmade or natural
calamities.
Section 5. The Regional Government recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. It
shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.
Section 6. The Regional Government recognizes the role of women in nation-building and regional
development. It shall promote their well-being and ensure their fundamental rights and equality with men
before the law.
The Regional Government shall take appropriate measures against all forms of exploitation of and
discrimination against women.
It shall ensure the representation of women in appropriate decision and policy-making bodies.
Section 7. The Regional Government recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building.
The Regional Assembly may, by law, create the Office of Youth Affairs and define its powers, functions
and composition.
Section 8. The Regional Government shall protect the rights of people's organizations.
Section 9. The Regional Government recognizes labor as a primary social economic force for
development. It shall afford full protection to labor, promote full employment, ensure equal work
opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed, and regulate the relations between workers and
employers.
The Regional Government shall ensure the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production, and
the right of enterprise to reasonable returns on investments and to expansion and growth.
Section 10. The Regional Assembly may create a Commission on Human Rights, and define its powers
and functions, subject to the Constitution, national laws, and to the supervision of the National
Commission on Human Rights.
ARTICLE
General Provisions

XVII

Section 1. The Regional Assembly is hereby empowered to pass a law adopting an official regional
emblem, seal and hymn.
Section 2. All public officers and employees, as well as members of the regional police force and the
military establishment, shall be required to take an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines
and to support and defend the Constitution and this Organic Act.
Section 3. No member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the active service shall, at any time, be
appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the Autonomous Government, including
government-owned or controlled corporations, or in any of their subsidiaries or instrumentalities within the
Autonomous Region.
Section 4. This Organic Act shall be officially promulgated in Filipino, English and Arabic and translated
into the dialects widely spoken in the Autonomous Region. In case of conflict, the English text shall
prevail.
ARTICLE
Amendments or Revisions

XVIII

Section 1. Consistent with the provisions of the Constitution, this Organic Act may be amended or revised
by the Congress of the Philippines upon a majority vote of the House of Representatives and of the
Senate voting separately.
Section 2. The Regional Assembly shall have the power to initiate proposals for amendment to or
revisions of this Organic Act by a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all its Members or it may call for a Regional
Consultative Commission to propose the amendment or revision. In any case, the amendment or revision
shall require the approval of the Congress of the Philippines.
Section 3. Any amendment to or revision of this Organic Act shall become effective only when approved
by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose, which shall be held not earlier than
sixty (60) days or later than ninety (90) days after the approval of such amendment or revision.
ARTICLE
Transitory Provisions

XIX

Section 1. (1) The existing Sangguniang Pampook and the Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook of Regions
IX and XII shall be deemed abolished and the Members thereof considered as having ceased in office
upon the election and qualification of their successors as provided in this Act.
(2) All regular and permanent personnel of the Sangguniang Pampook and Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng
Pook of Regions IX and XII shall continue to hold office unless they are replaced by the Regional
Government within six (6) months from the organization thereof; otherwise, they shall be considered
regular and permanent employees of the Regional Government.
Nothing in this Organic Act, however, shall derogate from any right or privilege enjoyed by any public
official or employee under existing laws. Retiring employees shall be given full benefits under existing
laws. Those who opt to transfer to another region shall be allowed, subject to the Civil Service laws and
regulations.

(3) Properties and assets of the present Autonomous Governments in Regions IX and XII shall be turned
over to the Regional Government. Those lands, buildings and other permanent structures located in the
provinces or cities that do not vote favorably in the plebiscite for the ratification of this Organic Act may be
acquired by the province or city concerned for value.
Section 2. All personnel of the National Government and of government-owned or controlled corporations
who are absorbed by the Regional Government shall retain their seniority rights, compensation and the
benefits.
Section 3. Within one (1) month from the organization of the Regional Government an Oversight
Committee composed of the Executive Secretary as Chairman, the Secretary of Budget and
Management, the Secretary-General of the National Economic and Development Authority, the Regional
Governor of the Autonomous Region, the Speaker of the Regional Assembly, two (2) Senators to be
designated by the Senate President and two (2) Representatives to be designated by the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, as Members, shall be organized for the purpose of supervising the transfer to
the Autonomous Region of such powers and functions vested in it by this Organic Act and the
appropriations of the offices or agencies, including the transfer of properties, assets and liabilities, and
such personnel as may be necessary, and of identifying the other line agencies and government-owned
or controlled corporations that may be absorbed by the Regional Government and, with respect to the
latter, also the terms and conditions of their turnover.
Within six (6) months after its organization, the Oversight Committee shall submit its report and
recommendations to the President of the Philippines who shall act on the report and recommendations
within ninety (90) days after receipt thereof: Provided, however, That if the President fails to act within
said period, the recommendations of the Oversight Committee shall be deemed approved.
Section 4. Upon the organization of the Autonomous Region, the line agencies and offices of the National
Government dealing with local government, social services, science and technology, labor, natural
resources, and tourism, including their personnel, equipment, properties and budgets, shall be
immediately placed under the control and supervision of the Regional Government.
Other National Government offices and agencies in the Autonomous Region which are not excluded
under paragraph (9), Sec. 2, Article V of this Organic Act, together with their personnel, equipment,
properties and budgets, shall be placed under the control and supervision of the Regional government
pursuant to a schedule prescribed by the Oversight Committee mentioned in Section 3, Article XIX of this
Organic Act: Provided, however, That the transfer of these offices and agencies and their personnel,
equipment, properties and budget shall be accomplished within six (6) years from the organization of the
Regional Government.
The National Government shall continue such levels of expenditures as may be necessary to carry out
the functions devolved under this Act: Provided, however, That the annual budgetary support shall, as
soon as practicable, terminate as to the line agencies or offices devolved to the Regional Government.
Section 5. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding Section, the Government Service Insurance
System, the Social Security System, the Pagtutulungan-Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya't Gobyerno (PAG-IBIG)
and other funds of similar trust or fiduciary nature shall be exempt from the coverage of this Organic Act.

Section 6. Pending the enactment of a regional budgetary law, the budgeting process of the Regional
Government shall be governed by pertinent rules and regulations prescribed by the Department of Budget
and Management.
Section 7. The first regular elections of the Regional Governor, Vice-Governor and Members of the
Regional Assembly under this Organic Act shall be held not earlier than sixty (60) days or later than ninety
(90) days after the ratification of this Act. The Commission on Elections shall promulgate such rules and
regulations as may be necessary for the conduct of said election.
Section 8. Within one (1) year from its organization, the Regional Assembly shall, by law, create a Code
Commission on Muslim Laws and a Code Commission on Tribal Laws which shall not exceed three (3)
members per commission, and shall define their powers and functions.
The Code Commissions shall codify tribal laws and Islamic laws and jurisprudence within three (3) years
from their creation and submit the same to the Regional Assembly for enactment into law.
Section 9. The sum of Fifteen million pesos (P15,000,000.00) which shall be charged against the
Contingent Fund, is hereby appropriated for the initial organizational requirements of the Regional
Government, and funding for any deficiency shall be taken from savings of the National Government:
Provided, That Five million pesos (P5,000,000.00) thereof shall be allotted to the Commission on
Elections to undertake an information campaign on this Organic Act: Provided, further, That the
Commission on Elections shall determine the manner of campaigning and the deputization of government
agencies for the purpose: Provided, finally, That the Commission on Elections shall adopt measures that
will ensure an impartial information campaign.
Section 10. The National Government shall, in addition to its regular annual allotment to the Autonomous
Region, provide the Regional Government Two billion pesos (P2,000,000,000.00) as annual assistance
for five (5) years, to fund infrastructure projects duly identified, endorsed and approved by the Regional
Planning and Development Board herein created: Provided, however, That the annual assistance herein
mentioned shall be appropriated and disbursed through a Public Works Act duly enacted by the Regional
Assembly: Provided, further, that this annual assistance may be adjusted proportionately in accordance
with the number of provinces and cities joining the Autonomous Region: and Provided, finally, That the
national programs and projects in the Autonomous Region shall continue to be financed out of national
funds.
Section 11. The provisions of this Organic Act are hereby declared to be separate and in the event one or
more of such provisions are held unconstitutional, the validity of other provisions shall not be affected
thereby.
Section 12. All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations, and all other issuances, or parts thereof,
which are inconsistent with this Organic Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Section 13. The creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao shall take effect when approved
by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units provided in paragraph (2) of Sec. 1 of Article II of
this Act in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than ninety (90) days or later than one hundred
twenty (120) days after the approval of this Act: Provided, That only the provinces and cities voting
favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The
provinces and cities which in the plebiscite do not vote for inclusion in the Autonomous Region shall

remain in the existing administrative regions: Provided, however, That the President may, by
administrative determination, merge the existing regions.
Section 14. This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in at least
two (2) national local newspapers and one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the Autonomous
Region.
Approved: August 1, 1989
Mohammad
in
source:
"Veni,
Vidi,
Vici"
-"I
From a Jewish City to a Muslim City in 8 years!

Medina:
came,

saw,

62230
verbatim
conquered."

The city hitherto called Yathrib, later renamed Medinat al-Nabi or City of the Prophet, was situated on
the western edge of the central Arabian plateau. Compared with Mecca it was a climatic Eden, with
hundreds of gardens, palm groves, and farms. As Mohammed rode into the town one group after another
called to him, Alight here, 0 Prophet! Abide with us! And with Arab persistence some caught the halter of
his camel to detain him. The choice lies with the camel; let him advance freely the advice quieted
jealousy, and hallowed his new residence as chosen by God. Where his camel stopped, Mohammed built
a mosque and two adjoining homes, one for Sauda, one for Aisha; later he added new apartments as he
took new wives.
In leaving Mecca he had snapped many kinship ties; now he tried to replace bonds of blood with those of
religious brotherhood in a theocratic state. To mitigate the jealousy already rampant between the
Refugees (Muhajirin) from Mecca and the Helpers (Ansar) or converts in Medina, he coupled each
member of the one group with a member of the other in adoptive brotherhood, and called both groups to
worship in sacred union in the mosque. In the first ceremony held there he mounted the pulpit and cried in
a loud voice, Allah is most great! The assembly burst forth in the same proclamation.
Then, still standing with his back to the congregation, he bowed in prayer. He descended the pulpit
backward, and at its foot he prostrated himself thrice, while continuing to pray. In these prostrations were
symbolized that submission of the soul to Allah which gave to the new faith its name Islam to surrender,
to make peaceand to its adherents the kindred name of Musijinin or Moslemsthe surrendering
ones, those who have made their peace with God. Turning then to the assembly, Mohammed bade it
observe this ritual to the end of time; and to this day it is the form of prayer that Moslems follow, whether
at the mosque, or traveling in the desert, or in alien lands. A sermon completed the ceremony, often
announcing, in Mohammed's case, a new revelation, and directing the actions and policies of the week.
For the authority of the Prophet was creating a civic rule for Medina; and more and more he was
compelled to address his time and inspirations to the practical problems of social organization, daily
morals, even to intertribal diplomacy and war. As in Judaism, no distinction was made between secular
and religious affairs; all alike came under religious jurisdiction; he was both Caesar and Christ. But not all
Medinites accepted his authority.
A majority of the Arabs stood aside as the Disaffected, viewed the new creed and its ritual skeptically,
and wondered whether Mohammed was destroying their traditions and liberties, and involving them in

war. Most of the Medina Jews clung to their own faith, and continued to trade with the Meccan Quraish.
Mohammed drew up with these Jews a subtle concordant:
The Jews who attach themselves to our commonwealth shall be protected from all insults and
vexations; they shall have an equal right with our own people to our assistance and good offices;
they...shall form with the A'loslcms one composite nation; they shall practice their religion as
freely as the Moslems...They shall join the Moslems in defending Yathrib against all enemies. All
future disputes between those who accept this charter shall be referred, under God, to the
Prophet.
All the Jewish tribes of Medina and the surrounding country soon accepted this agreement: the BanuNadhir, the Banu-Kuraiza, and the Banu- Kainuka.... The immigration of two hundred Meccan families
created a food shortage in Medina. Mohammed solved the problem as starving people doby taking food
where it could be had. In commissioning his lieutenants to raid the caravans that passed Medina, he was
adopting the morals of most Arab tribes in his time. When the raids succeeded, four fifths of the spoils
went to the raiders, one fifth to the Prophet for religious and charitable uses; the share of a slain raider
went to his widow, and he himself at once entered paradise. So encouraged, raids and raiders multiplied,
while the merchants of Mecca, whose economic life depended on the security of the caravans, plotted
revenge.
One raid scandalized Medina as well as Mecca, for it took placeand killed a manon the last day of
Rajab, one of the sacred months when Arab morality laid a moratorium on violence. In 623 Mohammed
himself organized a band of 300-armed men to waylay a rich caravan coming from Syria to Mecca. Abu
Sufyan, who commanded the caravan, got wind of the plan, changed his route, and sent to Mecca for
help. The Quraish came 900 strong.
The miniature armies met at the Wadi Bedr, twenty miles south of Medina. If Mohammed had been
defeated his career might have ended there and then. He personally led his men to victory, ascribed it to
Allah as a miracle confirming his leadership, and returned to Medina with rich booty and many prisoners
(January, 624). Some of these, who had been especially active in the persecution at Mecca, were put to
death; the rest were freed for lucrative ransoms.31 But Abu Sufyan survived, and promised revenge.
Weep not for your slain, he told mourning relatives in Mecca, and let no bard bewail their fate. Haply
the turn may come, and ye may obtain vengeance. As for me, I will touch no oil, neither approach my
wife, until I shall have gone forth again to fight Mohammed.
Strengthened by victory, Mohammed used the customary morality of war. Asma, a Medinese poetess,
having attacked him in her rhymes, Omeir, a blind Moslem, made his way into her room, and plunged his
sword so fervently into the sleeping woman's breast that it affixed her to the couch. In the mosque the
next morning Mohammed asked Omeir, Hast thou slain Asma? Yes, answered Omeir, is there cause
for apprehension? None, said the Prophet, a couple of goats will hardly knock their heads together for
it.
Afak, a centenarian convert to Judaism, composed a satire on the Prophet, and was slain as he slept in
his courtyard. A third Medinese poet, Kab ibn al-Ashraf, son of a Jewess, abandoned Islam when
Mohammed turned against the Jews; he wrote verses prodding the Quraish to avenge their defeat, and
enraged the Moslems by addressing love sonnets to their wives in premature troubadour style. Who will
ease me of this man? asked Mohammed. That evening the poet's severed head was laid at the Prophet's

feet. In the Moslem view these executions were a legitimate defense against treason; Mohammed was
the head of a state, and had full authority to condemn.
The Jews of Medina no longer liked this warlike faith, which had once seemed so flatteringly kindred to
their own. They laughed at Mohammed's interpretations of their Scriptures, and his claim to be the
Messiah promised by their prophets. He retaliated with revelations in which Allah charged the Jews with
corrupting the Scriptures, killing the prophets, and rejecting the Messiah. Originally he had made
Jerusalem the qiblathe point toward which Moslems should turn in prayer; in 624 he changed this to
Mecca and the Kaaba.
The Jews accused him of returning to idolatry. About this time a Moslem girl visited the market of the
Banu-Kainuka Jews in Medina; as she sat in a goldsmiths shop a mischievous Jew pinned her skirt
behind her to her upper dress. When she arose she cried out in shame at her exposure. A Moslem slew
the offending Jew, whose brothers then slew the Moslem. Mohammed marshaled his followers, blockaded
the Banu-Kainuka Jews in their quarter for fifteen days, accepted their surrender, and bade them, 700 in
number, depart from Medina, and leave all their possessions behind.
We must admire the restraint of Abu Sufyan, who, after his unnatural vow, waited a year before going
forth to battle Mohammed again. Early in 625 he led an army of 3000 men to the hill of Ohod, three miles
north of Medina. Fifteen women, including Abu Sufyan's wives, accompanied the army, and stirred it to
fervor with wild songs of sorrow and revenge.
Mohammed could muster only a thousand warriors. The Moslems were routed; Mohammed fought
bravely, received many wounds, and was carried half unconscious from the field. Abu Sufyan's chief wife
Hind, whose father, uncle, and brother had been slain at Bedr, chewed the liver of the fallen Hamza
who had slain her fatherand made anklets and bracelets for herself from Hamza's skin and nails.
Thinking Mohammed safely dead, Abu Sufyan returned in triumph to Mecca. Six months later the Prophet
was sufficiently recovered to attack the Banu-Nadhir Jews, charging them with helping the Quraish and
plotting against his life. After three weeks siege they were allowed to emigrate, each family taking with it
as much as a camel could carry. Mohammed appropriated some of their rich date orchards for the support
of his household, and distributed the remainder among the Refugees.38 He considered himself at war
with Mecca, and felt justified in removing hostile groups from his flanks.
In 626 Abu Sufyan and the Quraish resumed the offensive, this time with 10,000 men, and with material
aid from the Banu-Kuraiza Jews. Unable to meet such a force in battle, Mohammed defended Medina by
having a trench dug around it. The Quraish laid siege for twenty days; then, disheartened by wind and
rain, they returned to their homes. Mohammed at once led 3000 men against the Banu-Kuraiza Jews. On
surrendering, they were given a choice of Islam or death. They chose death. Their 6oo fighting men were
slain and buried in the market place of Medina; their women and children were sold into slavery.
The Prophet had by this time become an able general. During his ten years in Medina he planned sixtyfive campaigns and raids, and personally led twenty-seven. But he was also a diplomat, and knew when
war should be continued by means of peace. He shared the longings of the Refugees to see their Meccan
homes and families, and of both Refugees and Helpers to visit the Kaaba that had in their youth been the
hearth of their piety. As the first apostles thought of Christianity as a form and reform of Judaism, so the
Moslems thought of Mohammedanism as a change and development of the ancient Meccan ritual.

In 628 Mohammed sent the Quraish an offer of peace, pledging the safety of their caravans in return for
permission to fulfill the rites of the annual pilgrimage. The Quraish replied that a year of peace must
precede this consent. Mohammed shocked his followers by agreeing; a ten years truce was signed; and
the Prophet consoled his raiders by attacking and plundering the Khaibar Jews in their settlement six
days journey northeast of Medina.
The Jews defended themselves as well as they could; ninety- three of them died in the attempt; the rest at
last surrendered. They were allowed to remain and cultivate the soil, but on condition of yielding all of
their property, and half their future produce, to the conqueror. All the survivors were spared except
Kinana, their chieftain, and his cousin, who were beheaded for hiding some of their wealth. Mohammed
as an added wife took Safiya, a seventeen-year-old Jewish damsel, betrothed to Kinana.
In 629 the Medina Moslems, to the number of 2000, entered Mecca peace- fully; and while the Quraish, to
avoid mutual irritations, retired to the hills, Mohammed and his followers made seven circuits of the
Kaaba. The Prophet touched the Black Stone reverently with his staff, but led the Moslems in shouting;
There is no god but Allah alone! Meccans were impressed by the orderly behavior and patriotic piety of
the exiles; several influential Quraish, including the future generals Khalid and Amr, adopted the new faith;
and some tribes in the neighboring desert offered Mohammed the pledge of their belief for the support of
his arms. When he returned to Medina he calculated that he was now strong enough to take Mecca by
force.
The ten years truce had eight years to run; but Mohammed alleged that a tribe allied with the Quraish had
attacked a Moslem tribe, and thereby voided the truce (630). He gathered 10,000 men, and marched to
Mecca.
Abu Sufyan, perceiving the strength of Mohammed's forces, allowed him to enter unopposed. Mohammed
responded handsomely by declaring a general amnesty for all but two or three of his enemies. He
destroyed the idols in and around the Kaaba, but spared the Black Stone, and sanctioned the kissing of it.
He proclaimed Mecca the Holy City of Islam, and decreed that no unbeliever should ever be allowed to
set foot on its sacred soil. The Quraish abandoned direct opposition; and the buffeted preacher who had
fled from Mecca eight years before was now master of all its life.
Excerpts from Will Durant's The Age of Faith Pages 162-186 Pub. 1950
http://zamboanga.com/armm/index.htm