Constitutional Reform: Mindanao Final Agreement

Whereas, the parties affirm the sovereignty, territorial integrity and the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines;

Article 2:

Phase II shall involve an amendment to or repeal of the Organic Act (RA 6734) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through Congressional action, after which the amendatory law shall be submitted to the people of the concerned areas in a plebiscite to determine the establishment of a new autonomous government and the specific area of autonomy thereof.

a. While peace and development programs are being implemented in the SZOPAD, a bill to amend or repeal the RA 6734 shall be initiated within Phase I (1996-1997). The bill shall include the pertinent provisions of the final Peace Agreement and the expansion of the present ARMM area of autonomy. After a law shall have been passed by Congress and approved by the President, it shall be submitted to the people for approval in a plebiscite in the affected areas, within two (2) years from the establishment of the SPCPD (1998).

b. The new area of autonomy shall then be determined by the provinces and cities that will vote/choose to join the said autonomy (1998). It may be provided by the Congress in a law that clusters of contiguous Muslim-dominated municipalities voting in favor of autonomy be merged and constituted into a new province(s) which shall become part of the new Autonomous Region.

Implementation History

1996

No Implementation

None of the above-mentioned constitutional changes stipulated by the 1996 peace agreement took place this year. 

1997

No Implementation

None of the above-mentioned constitutional changes stipulated by the 1996 peace agreement took place this year.

1998

No Implementation

None of the above-mentioned constitutional changes stipulated by the 1996 peace agreement took place this year.

1999

No Implementation

None of the above-mentioned constitutional changes stipulated by the 1996 peace agreement took place this year.

2000

No Implementation

None of the above-mentioned constitutional changes stipulated by the 1996 peace agreement took place this year.

2001

Full Implementation

The Expanded ARMM Law or Republic Act 9054 was passed in 2001. As called for by the 1996 accord, Republic Act 9054 provided for a new 24 seat Regional Assembly for the ARMM in which current ARMM provinces and new provinces could vote to join the ARMM. For provinces and cities that were to be included in the expanded area of the autonomous region, the voters were asked whether they favored inclusion or opposed it.1

A plebiscite to expand the ARMM was held on 14 August 2001. Of the 14 provinces and 9 cities in the SZOPAD, one additional province (Basilan) and one city (Marawi) voted to be included in the new expanded ARMM.2 About 50 percent of the 4.9 million eligible voters took part in the plebiscite.3 

2002

Full Implementation

No further constitutional changes pertaining to the 1996 accord took place.

2003

Full Implementation

No further constitutional changes pertaining to the 1996 accord took place.

2004

Full Implementation

No further constitutional changes pertaining to the 1996 accord took place.

2005

Full Implementation

No further constitutional changes pertaining to the 1996 accord took place.