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Residents want congressional seat for Cotabato City

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 11:30 AM Thu Oct 10, 2019
John M. Unson
The Cotabato City People's Palace, operations center of the city government.  (File photo)

COTABATO CITY --- The city council has drafted a resolution urging Congress to create a lone congressional district covering all 37 barangays here.

Japal Guiani III, a member of the Cotabato City’s 16th Sangguniang Panglunsod, told reporters Thursday the resolution is channeled through Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Ronnie Sinsuat.

Cotabato City is presently under the first congressional district of Maguindanao, along with 11 other towns in the province.

Guiani said members of the Cotabato City SP approved the resolution unanimously during a session Tuesday.

Key sources from the office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Region 12 said Cotabato City has been qualified since 2015 to become a congressional district based on population, area and revenue collections.

It is only the House of Representatives that can create congressional districts anywhere in the country.

The first-termer Sinsuat has sponsored early on a bill seeking the split of Maguindanao into two provinces, one to be named Western Maguindanao.

His proposal aims to group together all of the 11 towns in the first district of Maguindanao under a new Western Maguindanao province.

Guiani said he and other SP members are optimistic that Congress, through the efforts of Sinsuat, will consider the mounting clamors for Cotabato City, now with more than 300,000 residents, to have its own congressional seat.

Cotabato City was created via a congressional charter more than five decades ago.

The city is also known as the historic Kuta Wato, or stone fort that refers to the iconic hill overlooking the Rio Grande de Mindanao and nearby marshes that connect to the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta.

Moro dissidents who fought the Spaniards from the 16th to late 18th century had used the strategic Kuta Wato hill as springboard for attacks on Spanish colonizers.


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