COTABATO CITY (PNA) – This city is set to be officially transferred to the jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM) on December 15.
This was disclosed by BARMM Minister of the Interior and Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo, who thanked President Duterte for “keeping the spirit of the discussion last year in Malacañang to carry out the mandate of the Bangsamoro Organic Law to transfer supervision over Cotabato City to the BARMM”.
BARMM was inaugurated in March 2019 to replace the decades-old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The new region was the product of a comprehensive peace dialogue between the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), once the biggest Moro rebel group in the southern part of the country.
“The IGRB or Inter-Governmental Relations Body in its fifth meeting today agreed to undertake the turnover ceremony for Cotabato City this December 15, 2020,” Sinarimbo said.
The IGRB is an intergovernmental body that deals with the Bangsamoro regional government’s relations and the national government.
Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, meanwhile, has yet to comment on the matter.
“The mayor has yet to issue a statement on the new development as she seemingly has not been informed about it,” Halima Satol-Ibrahim, secretary to the mayor, told the Philippine News Agency on Saturday.
Cotabato City residents and those in the 63 villages of North Cotabato voted to become part of the BARMM through a plebiscite in January last year.
However, Sayadi filed a case before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Supreme Court to question the plebiscite results over alleged voting anomalies.
The mayor also questioned the absence of the BARMM’s local government code that would institutionalize Cotabato City’s affairs and functions to the BARMM.
In February this year, President Duterte met with Sayadi and BARMM Interim Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim to resolve the issue, saying he would thoroughly study the matter.