Cotabato City is scheduled to be turned over to the supervision of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on December 15.
More than a year after the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (Republic Act No 11054), the city which voted during a 2019 plebiscite to join the BARMM will be turned over to the new regional government, said Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM’s Minister of Interior and Local Government.
In a Facebook post, Sinarimbo said that the schedule of the takeover was finalized in the 5th meeting of the intergovernmental relations body, where officials of both the BARMM and national government coordinate on intergovernmental relations and concerns.
Once the turnover is complete, Sinarimbo said that the programs, properties, and assets of the Department of the Interior and Local Government of Cotabato City will be transferred to the region’s Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG).
“Ang mangyayari ay may seremonya na ibibigay nila ang opisina nila, ipupull-out nila iyong mga tao nila, papalitan ng mga tao namin sa MILG, para sila ang mag undertake sa supervision over Cotabato City,” Sinarimbo said during his interview in Radyo Bangsamoro.
(What will happen is there will be a ceremony where they will give their office, they’ll pull out their people to be replaced by our people at the MILG so they can undertake supervision over Cotabato City.)
Plebiscite result fulfilled
In February of this year, President Duterte hosted a meeting between BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi to settle the issue of the takeover.
Mayor Guiani-Sayadi, who earlier expressed her opposition to the inclusion of the city to the regional government, is yet to comment on the matter as of press time.
Bangsamoro’s territorial jurisdiction was determined by the plebiscite conducted in January and February 2019.
BARMM is composed of the 5 provinces of the now-defunct ARMM: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan (except Isabela City), Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
Following the ratification of BOL, 63 barangays of North Cotabato, as well as Cotabato City were included to the region’s jurisdiction after its voters favored their inclusion to the regional government.
“Now the mandate of the people expressed in the plebiscite will be fulfilled,” said Sinarimbo. – Rappler.com