Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

SC reaffirms ruling vs Shariff Kabunsuan

COTABATO CITY, Philippines--It's final: Shariff Kabunsuan province does not exist anymore, and hundreds of elected and appointed civil servants are dismayed they may have been rendered jobless by the latest Supreme Court ruling on the matter.

The high court ruled with finality on Friday that the creation of the province was illegal.

Shariff Kabunsuan was carved out of a portion of Maguindanao in 2006 by the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao through Muslim Mindanao Act 201.

But the Supreme Court later ruled that its creation was illegal after Shariff Kabunsuan Representative Didagen Dilangalen sought clarification on the constitutionality of the RLA action.

The Supreme Court said only Congress, and not bodies like the regional assembly, has the power to divide or create new provinces.

ARMM officials sought reconsideration of the high court's decision, reasoning out that under the ARMM charter, the regional assembly was empowered to subdivide or create new entities.

But on Friday, the Supreme Court denied that motion with finality.

In its resolution, the Supreme Court said it found "no compelling reasons" nor "substantial arguments to warrant the reversal of the questioned decision."

Shariff Kabunsuan Vice Governor Ibrahim Ibay, who has been acting governor pending resolution of the gubernatorial row, said they were "in disarray."

"We do not know what to do with the more than 800 provincial employees," Ibay told reporters. "Practically we are jobless and unemployed now."

Norie Unas, Maguindanao provincial administrator, said Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan was to meet with officials of the defunct province "to find ways and means on how the provincial government could help cushion the impact of the court's decision." (By Edwin Fernandez)

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