Ratification Mechanism: Mindanao Final Agreement

I. Implementing Structure and Mechanism of this Agreement

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

No referendum was observed this year. 

1997

No Implementation

No referendum was observed this year. 

1998

No Implementation

No referendum was observed this year. 

1999

No Implementation

No referendum was observed this year. 

2000

No Implementation

No referendum was observed this year. 

2001

Full Implementation

As called for in 1996 peace agreement, a regional plebiscite on the expansion of the four-province Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was held in August of 2001. Only one new province, the Muslim majority island of Basilan, voted to join the ARMM. Faced with a blatant democratic rejection by ARMM voters, even in several Muslim majority provinces, MNLF leader, Nur Misuari protests the timing and legitimacy of the plebiscite election, amid widespread calls for his resignation. In November, MNLF units claiming loyal to Nur Misuari attack AFP installations in Zamboanga and Jolo island that resulted in around 140 deaths. It remains unclear whether Nur Misuari ordered the attacks. He was arrested trying to cross the border into Sabah, Malaysia and was held by AFP security forces in the Philippines. He was later put under house arrest.1 

2002

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2003

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2004

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.