Cotabato City (February 24, 2020) – The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) has called on the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to immediately cause the turn-over of Cotabato City to the Bangsamoro Government under the supervision of the Ministry of Local Government (MLG).
The BTA, through the Resolution No. 197 it passed on Friday, said the turn-over of Cotabato City is pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
The said resolution quoted Paragraph d Section 3 of the Article XV of the BOL which provides that “the city of Cotabato shall form part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region if the majority of the votes cast in the city shall be in favor of its inclusion.”
It can be recalled that the people of Cotabato City affirmed its inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the January 21, 2019 plebiscite with 36,682 ‘Yes’ votes versus 24,994 ‘No’ votes.
On January 25, 2019, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) sitting as National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers proclaimed and certified the results of the plebiscite for the ratification and inclusion of Cotabato City in BARMM.
Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, the MLG minister and BARMM spokesperson, said “since Cotabato City by virtue of the plebiscite has been constituted as part and parcel of the BARMM, no executive action may detach it from the autonomous region.”
“Under the law, the inclusion of Cotabato City is automatic and mandatory. No further action is needed and when people have spoken, it must be carried out,” Sinarimbo said.
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