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The people of Mindanao have always looked forward into shaping their destiny thr

ough self-determination and self-rule.


They have seen the rise of the first Filipino barangays ruled by the early datus
. Major socio-political changes, however, happened when Shariff Kabunsuan, an Ar
ab missionary, came and introduced Islam in Mindanao in the 15th century. This l
ed to the formation of Islamic communities and the formation of the Islamic Sult
anate, under one Supreme Council and eventually united the Mindanao mainland wit
h its sub-urban islands.
The united Muslim Mindanaoans repelled the influence of foreign domination parti
cularly the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese.
It was President Ramon Magsaysay who opened Mindanao to Christian settlers, majo
rity are from the Visayas, to share Mindanao's rich natural resources. The influ
x of settlers made Mindanao a place of diversified groups whose ethnicity, cultu
re, traditions and beliefs never became a source of misunderstanding, among the
early Mindanaoans.
The situation changed when unscrupulous persons, mostly politicians and business
men, took advantaged of the people's low economic state. Land grabbing and socia
l injustices were committed against the region's peace-loving people which force
d them rise in protest and revolt against the government.
On February 1973, the Mindanao problem escalated into an armed conflict involvin
g the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Philippine Armed Forces. The
conflict led to the death and displacement of thousands of innocent people.
On July 7, 1975, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 74
2 and Letter Of Instruction 290 creating the Western and Central Mindanao region
s and establishing the Office of the Regional Commissioner (ORC) in both regions
. Hostilities, however, continued with armed confrontations between the MNLF and
the military.
The situation lead the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to intervene whi
ch led to the signing of the Tripoli Agreement between the Philippine Government
and the MNLF in Tripoli, Libya on December 23, 1976.

In compliance with the Tripoli Agreement, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed P


residential Proclamation No. 1628 on 25 March 1977 forming an Autonomous Region
in Southern Philippines.
This was subjected to a referendum-plebiscite on 17 April 1977. However, the peo
ple opted to retain the original geo-political subdivisions of Westem and Centra
l Mindanao. This did not appease the Bangsa Moro Fronts which called the autonom
ous region as a unilateral implementation by the Manila govemment of the Tripoli
Agreement and, as such, was not recognized by the mujahideens.
On July 25, 1979, Batas Pambansa No. 20 was enacted creating the Regional Autono
mous Government in Westem and Central Mindanao region. This, however, did not st
ill conciliate the mujahideens who still pursued their revolutionary ideals.
In 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino pursued a more vigorous approach to solve t
he Mindanao problem through peace negotiations. The Jeddah Accord signed on Febr
uary 3, 1987 by the Philippine Govemment and the MNLF, was a commitment to conti
nue the talks on the full implementation of a more meaningful regional autonomy.
The Aquino govemment, even the talks failed, sought the creation of the Autonomo
us Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by ensh(ining it in the 1987 Philippine Cons
titution. President Aquino convened the Regional Consultative Council tasked to
draft the Organic Act for Muslim Mindanao. In 1988, the Organic Act was finally
completed and submitted to the Philippine Congress for deliberation and approval
.
On August 1, 1989, Republic Act No. 6734, otherwise known as the Organic Act of
the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, was signed into law by then President
Corazon C. Aquino. On November 17, 1989, a plebiscite was conducted in the propo
sed areas of ARMM wherein only four provinces opted to join the area of autonomy
. These are the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.
The first set of ARMM officials was elected on February 17, 1990. The ARMM was f
ormally operated on July 6, 1990 following the oath taking of Atty. Zacada A. Ca
ndao as its first Regional Govemor. The second batch of officials took office on
Apdl 02, 1993 wherein Lininding P. Pangandaman was elected Regional Governor.
On September 2, 1996, the MNLF and the Philippine Government signed the final Pe
ace Agreement which led to the election of MNLF chairman Nur Misuari as Regional
Governor of ARMM.
The Peace Agreement also paved the way for the creation of the Special Zone of P
eace and Development (SZOPAD) and Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Dev
elopment (SPCPD) which was established by virtue of Executive Order No. 371 on O
ctober 21, 1996 by President Fidel V. Ramos. Governor Misuari was named SPCPD Ch
airman.
Meanwhile, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), another Moro armed group, c
ontinued with their struggle. Armed clashes between the military and the MILF es
calated to a full war by the year 2000 displacing some 400,000 persons.
When Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed the Presidency on January 2001 after
the ouster of President Joseph E. Estrada, she reversed the all-out war policy o
f the Estrada Administration and initiated peace talks which led to the signing
of a ceasefire agreement on June 22, 2001.
To sustain the peace and development efforts in Mindanao and as part of the comm
itment to the 1996 Peace Agreement, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo supported
the September 2001 plebiscite for the ratification of Republic Act 9054, expandi
ng the area of autonomy. The ARMM is now comprised of the provinces of Maguindan
ao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and the Islamic City of Marawi.
The November 2001 ARMM election installed Dr. Parouk Hussin on January 2002 as R
egional Governor of the expanded ARMM.

The people of Mindanao have always looked forward into shaping their destiny thr
ough self-determination and self-rule.
They have seen the rise of the first Filipino barangays ruled by the early datus
. Major socio-political changes, however, happened when Shariff Kabunsuan, an Ar
ab missionary, came and introduced Islam in Mindanao in the 15th century. This l
ed to the formation of Islamic communities and the formation of the Islamic Sult
anate, under one Supreme Council and eventually united the Mindanao mainland wit
h its sub-urban islands.
The united Muslim Mindanaoans repelled the influence of foreign domination parti
cularly the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese.
It was President Ramon Magsaysay who opened Mindanao to Christian settlers, majo
rity are from the Visayas, to share Mindanao's rich natural resources. The influ
x of settlers made Mindanao a place of diversified groups whose ethnicity, cultu
re, traditions and beliefs never became a source of misunderstanding, among the
early Mindanaoans.
The situation changed when unscrupulous persons, mostly politicians and business
men, took advantaged of the people's low economic state. Land grabbing and socia
l injustices were committed against the region's peace-loving people which force
d them rise in protest and revolt against the government.
On February 1973, the Mindanao problem escalated into an armed conflict involvin
g the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Philippine Armed Forces. The
conflict led to the death and displacement of thousands of innocent people.
On July 7, 1975, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 74
2 and Letter Of Instruction 290 creating the Western and Central Mindanao region
s and establishing the Office of the Regional Commissioner (ORC) in both regions
. Hostilities, however, continued with armed confrontations between the MNLF and
the military.
The situation lead the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to intervene whi
ch led to the signing of the Tripoli Agreement between the Philippine Government
and the MNLF in Tripoli, Libya on December 23, 1976.

In compliance with the Tripoli Agreement, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed P


residential Proclamation No. 1628 on 25 March 1977 forming an Autonomous Region
in Southern Philippines.
This was subjected to a referendum-plebiscite on 17 April 1977. However, the peo
ple opted to retain the original geo-political subdivisions of Westem and Centra
l Mindanao. This did not appease the Bangsa Moro Fronts which called the autonom
ous region as a unilateral implementation by the Manila govemment of the Tripoli
Agreement and, as such, was not recognized by the mujahideens.
On July 25, 1979, Batas Pambansa No. 20 was enacted creating the Regional Autono
mous Government in Westem and Central Mindanao region. This, however, did not st
ill conciliate the mujahideens who still pursued their revolutionary ideals.
In 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino pursued a more vigorous approach to solve t
he Mindanao problem through peace negotiations. The Jeddah Accord signed on Febr
uary 3, 1987 by the Philippine Govemment and the MNLF, was a commitment to conti
nue the talks on the full implementation of a more meaningful regional autonomy.
The Aquino govemment, even the talks failed, sought the creation of the Autonomo
us Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by ensh(ining it in the 1987 Philippine Cons
titution. President Aquino convened the Regional Consultative Council tasked to
draft the Organic Act for Muslim Mindanao. In 1988, the Organic Act was finally
completed and submitted to the Philippine Congress for deliberation and approval
.
On August 1, 1989, Republic Act No. 6734, otherwise known as the Organic Act of
the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, was signed into law by then President
Corazon C. Aquino. On November 17, 1989, a plebiscite was conducted in the propo
sed areas of ARMM wherein only four provinces opted to join the area of autonomy
. These are the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.
The first set of ARMM officials was elected on February 17, 1990. The ARMM was f
ormally operated on July 6, 1990 following the oath taking of Atty. Zacada A. Ca
ndao as its first Regional Govemor. The second batch of officials took office on
Apdl 02, 1993 wherein Lininding P. Pangandaman was elected Regional Governor.
On September 2, 1996, the MNLF and the Philippine Government signed the final Pe
ace Agreement which led to the election of MNLF chairman Nur Misuari as Regional
Governor of ARMM.
The Peace Agreement also paved the way for the creation of the Special Zone of P
eace and Development (SZOPAD) and Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Dev
elopment (SPCPD) which was established by virtue of Executive Order No. 371 on O
ctober 21, 1996 by President Fidel V. Ramos. Governor Misuari was named SPCPD Ch
airman.
Meanwhile, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), another Moro armed group, c
ontinued with their struggle. Armed clashes between the military and the MILF es
calated to a full war by the year 2000 displacing some 400,000 persons.
When Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed the Presidency on January 2001 after
the ouster of President Joseph E. Estrada, she reversed the all-out war policy o
f the Estrada Administration and initiated peace talks which led to the signing
of a ceasefire agreement on June 22, 2001.
To sustain the peace and development efforts in Mindanao and as part of the comm
itment to the 1996 Peace Agreement, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo supported
the September 2001 plebiscite for the ratification of Republic Act 9054, expandi
ng the area of autonomy. The ARMM is now comprised of the provinces of Maguindan
ao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and the Islamic City of Marawi.
The November 2001 ARMM election installed Dr. Parouk Hussin on January 2002 as R
egional Governor of the expanded ARMM.