Executive Branch Reform: Mindanao Final Agreement
It shall be policy of the National Government that there shall be at least one (1) member of the Cabinet (with the rank of Department Secretary) who is an inhabitant of the Autonomous Region to be recommended by the Head of the Autonomous Government.
It shall likewise be a policy that there shall be at least one (1) official in each of the departments and the constitutional bodies of the national government who shall be appointed in executive, primarily confidential, highly technical policy-determining positions, from among the inhabitants of the Autonomous Region upon recommendation by the Head of the Autonomous Government. The Head of the Autonomous Government shall participate as ex-officio member of the National Security Council on all matters concerning the Autonomous Region and such other matters as may be determined by the President.
Article VII, Section 1, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution vests executive power to the President of the Philippines, who functions as the head of state, head of government, commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, and chief executive over all executive departments, bureaus, and offices. Executive Order No. 292, s. 1987, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987 gives the President of the Philippines authority over “all the executive departments” and their “restructuring, reconfiguring, and appointments of their respective officials.”1
Article 65 of the Mindanao Final Agreement calls for one Cabinet position in the Executive Branch to be filled by a resident of the ARMM to be recommended by the head of the ARMM. Article 66 calls for one high-ranking position in each Executive Department to be filled by a resident of the ARMM who is recommended by the head of the ARMM.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 1996.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 1997.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 1998.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 1999.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 2000.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 2001.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 2002.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 2003.
No evidence could be found that any of these positions were filled in 2004.
The OIC General Secretariat, the third party verification body chosen in the 1996 peace agreement, received an official report by the GRP dated December 2005 which reported on the five chief articles of implementation by the GRP of Phase II of the Peace Agreement. On the topic of “Participation of Muslims in the Executive Council, the Legislative Assembly, the Administrative System, and Representation in National Government,” the GRP reported that recent ARMM elections (18 August 2005) had resulted in the election of Dato Zaldi Uy Ampatuan as the new Regional Governor, 24 new members to the Legislative Assembly, and Hatimil Hassan, leader of the Legislative Assembly. It was also noted that several Muslims currently held high-ranking positions (Nasser Pangandamam, Department of Agrarian Reform, Mr. Zamzamin Ampatuan, National Anti-Poverty Commission Chairman). The report also mentions two Muslim candidates elected to the Philippine House of Representatives and two Muslim magistrates on the Court of Appeals.
These appointments do not constitute evidence of GRP compliance with Articles 65 and 66 of the 1996 agreement for several reasons. First, the appointments mentioned by the GRP official report resulted from elections. Second, the number of muslims holding positions is not relevant to Articles 65 and 66. Third, the individuals mentioned in the GRP report do not hold the specific positions mentioned in Articles 65 and 66. The GRP report does not mention any appointments made to the Executive Branch or executive departments. The MNLF report to the OIC explicitly states that no appointments were made based on the recommendations of the Regional Government pursuant to the 1996 agreement.2
- 2. “Report of the OIC Secretary-General on the Question of Muslims in Southern Philippines,” Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC/33-ICFM/2005/MM/SG/REP.2), accessed August 2012, http://www.oic-oci.org/baku2006/english/SG-report/33ICFM-MM-SG-REP-ENG-P....