Saturday Aug, 24 2019 09:59:34 PM

Mangudadatu authors bill for "Maguindanao North" province

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 07:00 AM Tue Aug 6, 2019
John M. Unson
Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu filed Monday House Bill 3054. (John Unson)

COTABATO CITY --- Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu filed Monday House Bill 3054 grouping together all 11 towns in the first district of Maguindanao into a chartered “Maguindanao North” province.

If approved by the House of Representatives, the now almost five-decade Maguindanao shall retain as its territory all 25 towns in its second congressional district.

The 30-page draft bill also recommended Sultan Kudarat town as capital of the proposed Maguindanao North province, according to Mangudadatu’s chief of staff, lawyer Kirby Abdullah.

Mangudadatu had served as governor of Maguindanao for three consecutive terms that spanned from June 30, 2010 to June 30 this year prior to his election on May 13 as congressman in the second district of the province.

He told reporters via online Messenger that the creation of the proposed province can provide economic and political empowerment to all Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities in the first congressional district of Maguindanao that covers 11 towns.

Mangudadatu said creating the Maguindanao North province can boost the normalization and socio-economic goals of the peace process between President Rodrigo Duterte and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The headquarters of the MILF, whose chairman, Hadji Ahod Ebrahim, is now chief minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Mindanao, is located in Barangay Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat.

The 24-seat Assembly of the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao created more than a decade ago via a regional law the Shariff Kabunsuan province covering all 11 towns in the first district of Maguindanao.

The Supreme Court, however, declared illegal ARMM’s creation of Shariff Kabunsuan and reverted all of its 11 towns back to the geographical coverage of the old Maguindanao province that President Ferdinand Marcos created in the early 1970s.


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