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باڠسامورو  (Maguindanaon)
باڠسامورو  (Maranao)
باڠسامورو  (Tausug)
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
Filipino: Rehiyong Awtonomo ng Bangsamoro sa Muslim Mindanao
Arabic: منطقة بانجسامورو ذاتية الحكم فى مسلمى مينداناو
Bangsamoro Government Center
Bulingan Falls, Lamitan city, Basilan
Panampangan Island, Sapa-sapa, Tawi-Tawi
Polloc Port, Parang, Maguindanao
Lanao Lake at Marawi City
PC Hill Cotabato City
Left to right, top to bottom: Bangsamoro Government Center; Bulingan Falls, Lamitan, Basilan; Panampangan Island, Sapa-sapa, Tawi-Tawi; Polloc Port, Parang, Maguindanao; Lanao Lake at Marawi City; and PC Hill, Cotabato City
Anthem: Bangsamoro Hymn
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 7°13′N 124°15′E / 7.22°N 124.25°E / 7.22; 124.25Coordinates: 7°13′N 124°15′E / 7.22°N 124.25°E / 7.22; 124.25
Island groupMindanao
Creation plebisciteaJanuary 21, 2019
TurnoverbFebruary 26, 2019
Inauguration of governmentMarch 29, 2019
Regional centerCotabato City[1]
 • TypeDevolved regional parliamentary government within a unitary presidential republic
 • BodyBangsamoro Transition Authority
 • Wa'līKhalifa Nando
 • Chief MinisterMurad Ebrahim
 • Deputy Chief Ministers[2]Ali Solaiman
(Deputy for the Mainland)
(Deputy for the Islands)
 • Speaker of the ParliamentPangalian Balindong
 (2020 census)c
 • Total4,944,800
 • Households
Time zoneUTC+08:00 (PST)
Barangays2,590 (including 63 in the special geographic area in Cotabato)
Legislative districts8
^ Two-part plebiscite held in two dates. The first part held on January 21, 2019, was for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the charter legislation of the region while the second part was to determine the final possible expanded scope of the region's territory. January 21, 2019, is recognized as the "Bangsamoro Foundation Day" as per the Bangsamoro Administrative Code.[3]

^ Effective dissolution of the predecessor autonomous region, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and turnover of governance to the interim body, Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

^ The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) used the scope of the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as its geographic reference for the 2020 census when it was released on July 7, 2021. Cotabato City and the Special Geographic Area were then not included its population count for Bangsamoro. Statistics for said localities were included in the PSA's count for Soccsksargen.[4][5] On November 9, 2021, as per PSA Board Resolution No. 13 Series of 2021, Cotabato City and the Special Geographic Area were included in its population count for Bangsamoro and removed from Soccsksargen.[6][7]

Bangsamoro, officially the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM; Filipino: Rehiyong Awtonomo ng Bangsamoro sa Muslim Mindanao; Arabic: منطقة بانجسامورو ذاتية الحكم, Minṭaqah Banjisāmūrū dhātiyyah al-ḥukm), is an autonomous region located in the southern Philippines.

Replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the BARMM was formed with the ratification of its basic law, the Bangsamoro Organic Law, following a two-part legally binding plebiscite in Western Mindanao held on January 21 and February 6, 2019. The ratification was confirmed a few days later on January 25 by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

The establishment of Bangsamoro was the culmination of several years of peace talks between the Philippine government and several autonomist groups; in particular the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which rejected the validity of the ARMM and called for the creation of a region with more powers devolved from the national government. A framework agreement known as the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was negotiated between the Benigno Aquino III administration and the MILF in 2014. After continued negotiations and debates over certain provisions, the Congress of the Philippines created and ratified a basic law for the region, now referred to as the Bangsamoro Organic Law; the bill was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26, 2018. Despite questions on the region's constitutionality, as it would have adopted a parliamentary system in an area of a country with a presidential system of government, no judicial ruling was made against the organic law and consequently the COMELEC held two-part plebiscite: one by ARMM citizens determining whether to dissolve the ARMM and immediately replace it with the Bangsamoro and, following the victory of the yes vote on the first part,[8][9][10] and the second part taken by neighboring municipalities and barangays in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Cotabato regarding their cession to the Bangsamoro region.[11][12][13][14] As a result of the second part of the plebiscite, 63 barangays of Cotabato province were handed over to the Bangsamoro government, adding to the autonomous region's territory.[15][11]

The Bangsamoro took the place of the ARMM as the only Muslim-majority autonomous region in the Philippines.[16] Currently in transition until 2025, the Bangsamoro government has been considered a testing ground for the wider debate on constitutional reform and federalism in the Philippines.


The recently coined term Bangsamoro is derived from the Old Malay word bangsa ("race" or "nation") and Moro (the collective term for the various predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in the Philippines, from the Spanish for "Moors").


A view of Cotabato City as seen in February 2018

Early history and arrival of Islam[edit]

Approximate historical extent of the Muslim sultanates of Sulu, Maguindanao and Lanao

For the most part of Philippines' history, the region and most of Mindanao have been a separate territory, which enabled it to develop its own culture and identity. The westernmost and west-central areas have been the traditional homeland of Muslim Filipinos since the 15th century, even before the arrival of the Spanish, who began to colonize most of the Philippines in 1565. Majority of Mindanao was the homeland of indigenous Lumad groups, who were neither Christians nor Muslims.

Muslim missionaries arrived in Tawi-Tawi in 1380 and started the colonization of the area and the conversion of the native population to Islam. In 1457, the Sultanate of Sulu was founded, and not long after that, the sultanates of Maguindanao and Buayan were also established. Many indigenous Lumad communities were displaced as a result of some of the area's 'Islamization'. At the time when most of the Philippines was under Spanish rule, these sultanates maintained their independence and regularly challenged Spanish domination of the Philippines by conducting raids on Spanish coastal towns in the north and repulsing repeated Spanish incursions in their territory. It was not until the last quarter of the 19th century that the Sultanate of Sulu formally recognized Spanish suzerainty, but these areas remained loosely controlled by the Spanish as their sovereignty was limited to military stations and garrisons and pockets of civilian settlements in Zamboanga and Cotabato,[17] until they had to abandon the region as a consequence of their defeat in the Spanish–American War.

Spanish colonial era[edit]

The Moros had a history of resistance against Spanish, American, and Japanese rule for over 400 years. The violent armed struggle against the Japanese, Filipinos, Spanish, and Americans is considered by modern Moro Muslim leaders as part of the four centuries long "national liberation movement" of the Bangsamoro (Moro Nation), although the term is only used in mainland Mindanao as those in the Sulu archipelago had a much distinct culture.[18] The 400-year-long resistance against the Japanese, Americans, and Spanish by the Moro Muslims persisted and morphed into a war for independence against the Philippine state.[19]

American colonial era[edit]

The United States' Insular Government of the Philippine Islands had only been in existence for two years in 1903 when it initiated the "Homestead Program," which was meant to encourage migration of landless populations from non-Muslim areas of the country into the Muslim-majority areas in Mindanao. Lanao and Cotabato in particular saw an influx of migrants from Luzon and Visayas. This influx of migrants led to tensions about land ownership and disenfranchisement of Lumads and Muslims, because the mostly-Christian migrants established claims on the land, whereas the native peoples of Mindanao didn't have a land titling system in place at the time. This US-led Homestead Program, which was later continued or copied by Philippine administrations after independence, is therefore often cited as one of the root-causes of what would later become the larger Moro conflict.[20]

World War II[edit]

In 1942, during the early stages of the Pacific War of the Second World War, troops of the Japanese Imperial Forces invaded and overran Mindanao, and the native Moro Muslims waged an insurgency against the Japanese. Three years later, in 1945, combined United States and Philippine Commonwealth Army troops liberated Mindanao, and with the help of local guerrilla units, ultimately defeated the Japanese forces occupying the region.

Postwar era[edit]

Under pressure to resolve agrarian unrest in various parts of the country, and noting that Mindanao was rich in mineral resources and weather favorable to agriculture, later Philippine presidents continued the promotion of migration which the American colonial government began in 1903. Massive arrivals of non-Muslim migrants happened particularly during the Commonwealth period under President Manuel Quezon and later under right-wing presidents Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos.[21] As a result, the proportion of indigenous peoples in Mindanao to shrink from majority in 1913 to minority by 1976.[21] The best lands in Mindanao were given to settlers and owners of corporate agriculture, while most development investments and government services were offered to the Christian population. This caused the Muslim population to be backward and rank among the poorest in their own country.[22] The resettlement programme was not entirely peaceful as some settlers managed to obtain land from the native Muslims through harassment and other violent efforts which drove the Muslims out of their own lands.[23]

The Muslims felt alienated by the Philippine government and felt threatened by the migrants' economic and political domination in their own homeland, the same way the Lumads were displaced centuries ago when Islam arrived in the Philippines. Some Muslim groups turned to extortion and violence to protect their land and avoid being displaced. These efforts at “integration” are credited for helping the Moro identity in mainland Mindanao crystallize, because the Muslims’ ability to identify with the rest of Filipino nation suffered in light of the threat to their economic and social safety.[buzzword][24]

As an effect of the resettlement, traditional Muslim leaders (also referred as datu) were also voted out during the polls as Christians, who made up a significant majority of the voters, preferred the Christian politicians over them. These local datus suffered a loss in prestige as they could no longer control the Muslim lands.[25] These politicians lost much of the capabilities they had possessed initially to manage the Muslim populace.[26]

The Jabidah Massacre and its impact[edit]

In March 1968, fishermen in Manila Bay rescued a Muslim man named Jibin Arula from the waters. They discovered that he had suffered from gunshot wounds, and he later recounted that he was the lone survivor of what would later be termed the "Jabidah Massacre."[23][27]

According to Jibin Arula's account, the Marcos administration had gathered a group of Tausug recruits for an operation called "Project Merdeka" (merdeka being the Malay "freedom"). The military began training them on the island of Corregidor to form a secret commando unit called "Jabidah," which would destabilize and take over Sabah.[28] The trainees eventually rejected their mission, for reasons that are still debated by historians today. Jibin Arula said that whatever the reasons behind their objections, all of the recruits aside from him were killed, and he escaped only by pretending to be dead.[27] Some contend that the massacre did not happen.[29][30][31]

Bangsamoro Liberation Organization[edit]

Then Lanao del Sur congressman Haroun al-Rashid Lucman called for Congress to begin proceedings to impeach President Marcos after the "exposé" implied that Marcos was ultimately responsible for the massacre.[32] When his proposal didn't get enough congressional support, he became convinced that Muslims should rule themselves in Muslim Mindanao - a conviction which led him to eventually establish the Bangsamoro Liberation Organization (BMLO),[33] which later joined forces with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).[32]

Muslim Independence Movement[edit]

Cotabato governor Datu Udtog Matalam [34] saw the anger of the Muslim people of Mindanao and established the Muslim Independence Movement (MIM), which openly called for the secession of the region to create a Muslim state.[35] The MIM did not last long because Datu Udtog Matalam negotiated with Marcos and accepted a post in his cabinet, but many of its members broke away and became the main force of the MNLF.[36]

Martial Law and the creation of the Moro National Liberation Front[edit]

On September 23, 1972, Ferdinand Marcos announced that he had placed the entirety of the Philippines, including Muslim Mindanao, under martial law. While Datu Udtog Matalam's MIM was already defunct, one of its former members, Nur Misuari, established the MNLF a month after the declaration of Martial Law, on October 21, 1972.[36]

Proclamation 1081 dissolved the various political groups that had been previously established in the Moro provinces, and with the MIM having already been dissolved, Marcos' declaration of martial law effectively assured the MNLF, which was more radical than its predecessors, would come to dominate the Moro separatist movement.[37]

The 1976 Tripoli Agreement[edit]

On December 23, 1976, the Tripoli Agreement was signed between the Philippine government and the MNLF with the deal brokered by then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Under a deal an autonomous region was to be created in Mindanao.[38]

Marcos would later implement the agreement by creating two regional autonomous governments, rather than one, in Regions 9 and 12,[38] which cover ten (instead of thirteen) provinces. This led to the collapse of the peace pact and the resumption of hostilities between the MNLF and Philippine government forces.[39][40]

Establishment of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front[edit]

In signing the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, however, Misuari did not consult one of the MNLF's key commanders, Ustadz Salamat Hashim. Salamat formed a splinter faction along with 57 other MNLF ground commanders, which then became the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).[41]

1987 Jeddah Accord[edit]

A year after Marcos was ousted from power during the People Power Revolution, the government under President Corazon Aquino signed the 1987 Jeddah Accord in Saudi Arabia with the MNLF, agreeing to hold further discussions on the proposal for autonomy to the entirety of Mindanao and not just the thirteen provinces stated in the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. In 1989, however, an act establishing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was passed. The MNLF demanded that the thirteen Tripoli Agreement provinces, majority of which were Christian provinces, be included in the ARMM, but the government refused; eight of those provinces were predominantly Christian. Shortly thereafter, the government held only four provinces as only Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi voted to be included in the ARMM. The four provinces were the only Muslim-majority provinces at the time.[40]

ARMM and peace deal with the MNLF[edit]

A plebiscite was held in 1989 for the ratification of the charter which created the ARMM, with Zacaria Candao, a counsel of the MNLF as the first elected regional governor. On September 2, 1996, a final peace deal was signed between the MNLF and the Philippine government under President Fidel Ramos. MNLF leader and founder Nur Misuari was elected regional governor three days after the agreement.[38]

Attempts to create a Bangsamoro autonomous region[edit]

In 1996, peace talks between the Philippine government and MNLF's rival group, the MILF, began.[38] The first deal between the national government and the MILF was made in 2008: the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD). The agreement would be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court many weeks later.[38] The deal would have led to the creation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE). Under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, two deals were agreed upon between the national government and the MILF: the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which was signed on October 15, 2012, and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, on March 27, 2014,[42][43] which included plans regarding the establishment of a new autonomous region. In 2012, Aquino announced intentions to establish a new autonomous political entity to be named Bangsamoro to replace the ARMM, which he called a "failed experiment".[44] Under his administration, a draft for a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was formulated but failed to gain traction to become law, owing in part to the Mamasapano clash that occurred in January 2015[38] that involved the murder of 44 mostly-Christian Special Action Force (SAF) personnel by allegedly combined forces of the MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) after an operation to kill Malaysian militant Zulkifli Abdhir, known by the alias "Marwan".[45]

Bangsamoro Organic Law and 2019 plebiscite[edit]

Voters look for their names at a precinct in Marawi during the January 21 BOL plebiscite.

Under the presidency of Aquino's successor, Rodrigo Duterte, a new draft for the BBL was made and became legislated into law as the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in 2018.[38] A plebiscite to ratify the BOL was held on January 21, 2019, with a majority of ARMM voters deciding for the ratification of the law. Voters in Cotabato City voted to join the new autonomous region, while voters in Isabela City voted against inclusion. The Commission on Elections proclaimed that the BOL was "deemed ratified" on January 25, 2019.[46][47] The provincial government of Sulu, where majority voted against inclusion, was also not in favor of the law, with its governor challenging the constitutionality of the law before the Supreme Court. Despite voting against inclusion, Sulu was still included in the Bangsamoro region due to rules stated in the BOL, sparking outrage from residents.[48][49]

In February 2019, the second round of the plebiscite was held in the province of Lanao del Norte and some towns in North Cotabato. The plebiscite resulted in the inclusion of 63 of 67 barangays in North Cotabato that participated. It also resulted in the rejection from the province of Lanao del Norte against the bid of six of its Muslim-majority towns to join the Bangsamoro, despite the six towns (Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangcal) opting to join the Bangsamoro by a sheer majority, with one town even voting for inclusion by 100%. A major camp of the MILF was within the Muslim areas of Lanao del Norte.[50][51]

Transition process[edit]

President Rodrigo Duterte sounds the agung during the inauguration of Bangsamoro. He is joined by Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim.

With the ratification of the BOL following the plebiscite on January 21, 2019, the abolition process of the ARMM began, paving way for the setting up of the Bangsamoro autonomous region. Under the BOL, a transitional body, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), was organized pending the election of the new region's government officials in 2022. The second part of the plebiscite held on February 6, 2019, expanded the scope of the future Bangsamoro region to include 63 barangays in North Cotabato.[52] The members of the BTA took their oaths on February 22, 2019, along with the ceremonial confirmation of the plebiscite results of both the January 21, and February 6, 2019, votes. The official turnover from the ARMM to BARMM took place on February 26, 2019, which meant the full abolition of the former.[53][54]

The inauguration of BARMM and the inaugural session of the Bangsamoro Parliament took place on March 29, 2019.[55]

Murad Ebrahim took office as the region's first chief minister.[56]

In 2020, the Bangsamoro parliament requested that the BTA be extended for an additional three years past 2022, to allow further time for the transition.[57]

On October 28, 2021, Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11593, postponing BARMM's first regular parliamentary elections from 2022 to 2025. The law also extended the transition period of the Bangsamoro until 2025.[58]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Bangsamoro consists of 3 component cities, 116 municipalities, and 2,590 barangays. The city of Isabela, despite being part of Basilan, is not under the administrative jurisdiction of the autonomous region. Likewise, 63 barangays in North Cotabato also are part of Bangsamoro despite North Cotabato and their respective parent municipalities not being under the administrative jurisdiction of the autonomous region.[59]

Map of Bangsamoro (local government units).svg
  •  †  Regional center
Province Capital Population (2020)A Area[60] Density Cities Muni. Bgy.
km2 sq mi /km2 /sq mi
Basilan (excluding Isabela City) Lamitan 11.3% 426,207 1,103.50 426.06 390 1,000 1 11 210
Lanao del Sur Marawi 24.2% 1,195,518 3,872.89 1,495.33 310 800 1 39 1,159
Maguindanao Buluan 27.1% 1,342,179 4,871.60 1,880.94 280 730 0 36 508
Sulu Jolo 20.2% 1,000,108 1,600.40 617.92 620 1,600 0 19 410
Tawi-Tawi Bongao 8.9% 440,276 1,087.40 419.85 400 1,000 0 11 203
Cotabato City 6.6% 325,079 176.00 67.95 1,800 4,700 1 37
Special Geographic Area ‡‡ 4.4% 215,433 63
Total 4,944,800 12,711.79 4,908.05 320 830 3 116 2,590
  •  ‡  Cotabato City is an independent component city; figures are excluded from Maguindanao.
 ‡‡  63 barangays are part of the region while their parent municipalities and parent province North Cotabato are not part of Bangsamoro; Area figures for the whole Bangsamoro is yet to into account of these barangays.
^A The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) used the scope of the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as its geographic reference for the 2020 census when it was released on July 7, 2021. Cotabato City and the Special Geographic Area were then not included its population count for Bangsamoro. Statistics for said localities were included in the PSA's count for Soccsksargen.[4][5] On November 9, 2021, as per PSA Board Resolution No. 13 Series of 2021, Cotabato City and the Special Geographic Area were included in its population count for Bangsamoro and removed from Soccsksargen.[6][7]


As per the organic law, the people "at the advent of the Spanish colonization, were considered natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent islands, shall have the right to identify themselves, their spouses and descendants" as part of the Bangsamoro people.[61]

Population census of Bangsamoro
YearPop.±% p.a.
1918 308,024—    
1939 517,695+2.50%
1948 677,520+3.03%
1960 1,167,928+4.64%
1970 1,466,414+2.30%
1975 1,484,424+0.25%
1980 1,648,272+2.12%
1990 2,234,781+3.09%
1995 2,509,079+2.19%
2000 2,966,894+3.66%
2007 4,379,948+5.52%
2010 3,527,926−7.57%
2015 4,080,825+2.81%
2020 4,944,800+3.85%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[62][63][64][65][6]


Between the ratification of the BOL and the inauguration of its first permanent government in 2022, the BTA will head the region. After the ratification of the BOL, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) begins to transition the ARMM into the BARMM.

Organizational structure[edit]

Wa'lī Kalifa Usman Nando (left) and Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim (right)

Based on the organic law, the autonomous Bangsamoro government system is parliamentary-democratic, similar to that practised in the United Kingdom, which is based on a political party system.[66]


The ceremonial head of the region is the wa'lī. The Bangsamoro Parliament selects and appoints the wa'lī. The wa'lī has ceremonial functions and powers such as moral guardianship of the territory and convocation and dissolution of the legislature.[67]


The regional government is headed by a chief minister. Murad Ebrahim is the current chief minister, who was appointed by the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, on an interim basis. The interim chief minister is also the head of the BTA, which also serves the function of serving as the transitional Bangsamoro Parliament.

Once the first regular session of the Bangsamoro Parliament is organized in 2022, the chief minister will be elected by the members of the Bangsamoro Parliament. The chief minister of the Bangsamoro is the chief executive of the regional government, and is assisted by a cabinet not exceeding 10 members. The holder of this position appoints the members of the cabinet, subject to confirmation by the Parliament. The chief minister has control of all the regional executive commissions, agencies, boards, bureaus, and offices.


The Bangsamoro Cabinet is composed of two deputy chief minister and ministers from the members of the parliament. The deputy chief ministers are selected through nomination of the chief minister and are elected by the members of the Parliament. The ministers in the cabinet on their part are appointed by the chief minister.[68]

Council of Leaders[edit]

The Council of Leaders advises the chief minister on matters of governance of the autonomous region. It is roughly an equivalent of an unelected Senate, though only advisory, without legislative powers, and not part of the Parliament.[68]

The council consist of the:

  • Chief minister
  • Members of the Congress from the Bangsamoro
  • Governors and mayors of chartered cities in the Bangsamoro
  • Representatives of traditional leaders, non-Moro indigenous communities, women, settler communities, the Ulama, youth, and Bangsamoro communities outside the region.
  • Other sector representatives subject to mechanism laid out by the parliament


The Bangsamoro Parliament convening at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City.

Under the BOL, the Bangsamoro Parliament serves as the legislature of the autonomous region, mandated to have 80 members and is led by the speaker. The wa'lī, a ceremonial head, could dissolve the parliament.

Regional ordinances are created by the Bangsamoro Parliament, composed of members of Parliament. Members are meant to be elected by direct vote. Regional elections are planned to be held one year after general elections (national and local) depending on legislation from Congress. The first Bangsamoro regional elections are to be held in 2025. Regional officials have a fixed term of three years, which can be extended by an act of Congress.

Under the BOL, the BTA was organized as a transitional body pending the election of the new region's government officials in 2025, with the first regular session of the parliament to be held in 2025.[citation needed]


The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region has its own regional justice system which applies Shari'ah to its residents like its predecessor, the ARMM. Unlike its predecessor though, the BOL, which became effective as of August 10, 2018,[69] has a provision for the creation of a Shari'ah High Court, which, if and when realized, would consist of five justices including a presiding justice and would oversee appellate courts, district courts, and circuit courts. Non-Muslims could also volunteer to submit themselves under the jurisdiction of Shari'ah law. The Bangsamoro justice system also recognizes traditional or tribal laws but these would only apply to disputes of indigenous peoples within the region.[70]

Relation to the central government[edit]

The BOL provides that BARMM "shall remain an integral and inseparable part of the national territory of the Republic." The Philippine president exercises general supervision over the regional chief minister. The regional government has fiscal autonomy or the power to create its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees, and charges, subject to Constitutional provisions and the provisions of No. 11054. The regional government has to gain approval from the central government's Department of Finance to receive donations and grants from foreign entities.[71]


International relations[edit]

The International Community has long been supportive of the Bangsamoro Peace Process, with the United Nations and the development agencies of various countries contributing to the success of the Framework Agreement and Comprehansive Agreement on the Bangramoro, and the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.[79]

Significant support for the Bangsamoro Peace Process has been provided by the various United Nations agencies operating in the Philippines, the World Bank, the Government of Japan both through its Embassy and through JICA, the European Union, USAID, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, the government of the United Kingdom, the government of Canada, the government of Sweden, and various other international organizations such as The Asia Foundation.[80][81]

Cultural heritage[edit]

The people of the Bangsamoro region, including Muslims, Lumads, and Christians, have a culture that revolves around kulintang music, a specific type of gong music, found among both Muslim and non-Muslim groups of the Southern Philippines. Each ethnic group in BARMM also has their own distinct architectures, intangible heritage, and craft arts.[82][83] A fine example of a distinct architectural style in the region is the Royal Sulu architecture which was used to make the Daru Jambangan (Palace of Flowers) in Maimbung, Sulu. The palace was demolished during the American period after being heavily damaged by a typhoon in 1932, and was never rebuilt.[84][85] It used to be the largest royal palace built in the Philippines. A campaign to faithfully re-establish it in Maimbung town has been ongoing since 1933. A very small replica of the palace was made in a nearby town in the 2010s, but it was noted that the replica does not mean that the campaign to reconstruct the palace in Maimbung has stopped as the replica does not manifest the true essence of a Sulu royal palace. In 2013, Maimbung was designated as the royal capital of the former Sultanate of Sulu by one of the family claimants to the Sulu Sultanate throne where the pretenders are buried there.[clarification needed][86][87]

Natural heritage[edit]

The region possesses a vast array of natural landscapes and seascapes with different types of environs. The mainland area includes the Liguasan Marsh, a proposed UNESCO tentative site, and Lake Lanao, one of the 17 most ancient lakes in the world. The Sulu archipelago region includes the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary (a UNESCO tentative site), Bongao Peak, and the Basilan Rainforest.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 13" (PDF). Bangsamoro Parliament. Retrieved February 24, 2021. The seat of the Bangsamoro Government shall be in Cotabato City, unless otherwise provided by the Bangsamoro Parliament in a subsequent law.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Arguilas, Carolyn (February 27, 2019). "Murad vows a government "free of all the ills of governance;" names 10 ministers". MindaNews. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Ul Khaliq, Riyaz (January 18, 2021). "Philippines: Bangsamoro begins anniversary celebrations". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved February 24, 2021. Last year, the BARMM passed the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, which marks January 21 as the Bangsamoro Foundation Day and declared it a non-working holiday.
  4. ^ a b "BARMM – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao". Census of Population and Housing (2020). PSA.
  5. ^ a b "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Census of Population and Housing (2020). PSA.
  6. ^ a b c Total Population, Household Population, Number of Households, and Average Household Size by Region, Province, and City/Municipality: Philippines, 2020. PSA. March 23, 2022. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  8. ^ Depasupil, William; TMT; Reyes, Dempsey (January 23, 2019). "'Yes' vote prevails in 4 of 5 provinces". The Manila Times. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  9. ^ Galvez, Daphne (January 22, 2019). "Zubiri: Overwhelming 'yes' vote for BOL shows Mindanao shedding its history of conflict". Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  10. ^ Esguerra, Christian V. (January 25, 2019). "New era dawns for Bangsamoro as stronger autonomy law ratified". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Sarmiento, Bong S. (February 7, 2019). "21 of 67 villages in North Cotabato join BARMM".
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