Powersharing Transitional Government: Mindanao Final Agreement

Article 63:

Representation in the National Government by the inhabitants of the Autonomous Region may be effected through appointment or elections and must be subject to standards and guidelines prescribed for the position. When representation is done by appointment, the inhabitants of the Autonomous Region will be appointed by the President of the Philippines to herein specified positions which are policy determining, highly technical, primarily confidential and supervisory upon recommendation by the Head of the Autonomous Government.

Article 64:

Right of representation shall not be construed in such a way that applicants from the Autonomous Region, especially Muslims, and Cultural Communities, for lower positions in the above organs of the government cannot be appointed anymore thereto. Manner of Representation and Participation Executive

Article 65:

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.

Article 66:

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 67:

Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) or institutions and their subsidiaries in the area of autonomy: where Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) are operating mainly or with a subsidiary in the area of autonomy, as a policy, the Regional Autonomous Government shall be given some representations in the Board of Directors or in the policymaking body of said GOCCs or their subsidiaries consistent with their respective charters.

Article 68:

It shall be the policy of the National Government that the Regional Autonomous Government shall have one (1) representative in Congress as a Sectoral Representative. This is aside from the representatives/congressmen elected from the congressional districts located in the autonomous region.

Article 69:

It shall be a policy of the National Government that at least one (1) justice in the Supreme Court and at least two (2) in the Court of Appeals shall come from the Autonomous Region. For this purpose, the Head of the Autonomous Government may submit the names of his recommendees to the Judicial and Bar Council for consideration. This is without prejudice to the appointment of qualified inhabitants of the Autonomous Region to other positions in the judiciary in accordance with their merits and qualifications.

Article 70:

The GRP shall endeavour to cause the appointment, as a member of the Judicial and Bar Council, a qualified person to be recommended by the Head of the Regional Autonomous Government.

II. The Transitional Period, Article 71:

The GRP shall request the Supreme Court to create the Office of the Deputy Court Administrator for the Area of Autonomy, and to appoint thereto a qualified person recommended by the Head of the Regional Autonomous Government.

Article 72:

The civil service eligibility requirements for appointment to government position shall be applicable in the Autonomous Government. As necessary, the Civil Service Commission shall hold special civil service examinations in the region to further increase the number of eligibles therein. For a period not longer than five (5) years from the establishment of the Regional Autonomous Government, the GRP will endeavor to provide for appropriate civil service eligibility to applicants in the Autonomous Region, provided, the minimum educational qualifications for the position are met.

Implementation History

1996

No Implementation

At least nine of the positions mentioned above were to be filled by appointment. These are special appointments that are to be made in addition to any other government positions that would be held by a Muslim resident from the ARMM under normal hiring practices. 

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 1996. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.1 Although Muslims may hold a number of positions in the government, they are not the positions listed in the accord and the candidates were not recommended by the ARMM.

1997

No Implementation

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 1997. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.2 

1998

No Implementation

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 1998. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.3 

1999

No Implementation

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 1999. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.4 

2000

No Implementation

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 2000. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.5 

2001

No Implementation

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 2001. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.6 

2002

No Implementation

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 2002. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.7 

2003

No Implementation

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 2003. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.8 

2004

No Implementation

No evidence could be found that any of the specific appointments referenced in the accord were made in 2004. The MNLF report (covering 1996 to 2005) to the verification body (OIC) explicitly states that none of the appointments were made.9 

2005

No Implementation

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.

Regarding “Participation of Muslims in the Executive Council, the Legislative Assembly, the Administrative System, and Representation in National Government,” the GRP report mentioned 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 in the Legislative Assembly, and Hatimil Hassan, leader of the Legislative Assembly. It was also noted that several Muslims were elected to 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 in the Court of Appeals.

These appointments do not constitute evidence of GRP compliance with the 1996 agreement for several reasons. First, the appointments mentioned by the GRP official report resulted from elections. Second, the number of muslims holding high-ranking positions is not relevant. Third, the individuals mentioned in the GRP report do not hold the specific positions mentioned in the 1996 agreement. The GRP report does not mention any appointments made to the Executive Branch, Major Departments, Security Council, Board of Directors, Sectoral Representative, or the Supreme Court. 

The failure to mention any of the specific positions from the 1996 accord in the report to the third party in charge of monitoring the implementation of the accord strongly suggests that no appointments were made. Calling attention to recent election results suggests that the government failed to make any appointment that could be referenced in their report, and this amounted to an attempt to report something rather than nothing. 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.10

Article 72 is different than the other articles and refers to a general outreach plan to recruit ARMM residents into the civil service. No formal programs of recruitment, affirmative action, training or outreach initiates by the Civil Service Commission of the Philippines intended to increase the number of ARMM residents in civil service could be found or verified. Within the National Civil Service Commission, we contacted the Office of Examination, the Office of Recruitment and Placement and the Office of Public Assistance (via email with attached letterhead) about any relevant programs targeted at ARMM residents. No information or knowledge was received on any specific outreach program aimed at ARMM residents.