|Province of Shariff Kabunsuan|
|Former province of Philippines|
Coat of arms
|Governor||None declared officially nor took office|
|•||Established||29 October 2006|
|•||Disestablished||17 July 2008|
|•||2007||4,028.57 km2 (1,555 sq mi)|
|Density||139.7 /km2 (361.9 /sq mi)|
|Today part of||Maguindanao|
Shariff Kabunsuan was a short-lived province of the Philippines within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that existed from 2006 to 2008. Its designated capital was Kabuntalan. Comprising 11 towns carved out of Maguindanao, the province was created by the Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201, which was nullified by the Supreme Court of the Philippines in 2008.
Shariff Kabunsuan was established under Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 which provided for the creation of the new province comprising the municipalities of Barira, Buldon, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Parang, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, and Upi, all of the first legislative district of the mother province of Maguindanao. On 29 October 2006, the creation of the new province of Shariff Kabunsuan was ratified by the affirmative majority (285,372) votes cast in a plebiscite. Only 8,802 voted for its rejection. A new municipality within the province, Northern Kabuntalan, was subsequently established after its creation was ratified by the affirmative majority votes cast in a plebiscite.
The law establishing Shariff Kabunsuan was enacted by the Regional Assembly for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, the first such province established by that local body, which had been so empowered under Republic Act No. 9054 or the Expanded ARMM law. Shariff Kabunsuan was the first province since Philippine independence that was not established through an Act of Congress.
At the time of its creation, Shariff Kabunsuan was the Philippines' 80th province and the sixth in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The province was named after Shariff Mohammed Kabungsuwan, an Arab-Malay Islamic preacher who introduced Islam to central Mindanao in the 16th century.
Cotabato City, which is independently governed and does not vote for provincial officials, belongs to neither Maguindanao nor Shariff Kabunsuan. However, for the purposes of congressional representation the said city was grouped with Shariff Kabunsuan, as per Section 5 of MMA Act No. 201.
On 17 July 2008, the Supreme Court, in Sema v. Comelec declared the creation of the province of Shariff Kabunsuan void and ruled that the power of ARMM's legislature to create provinces and cities is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court in particular held that only the national Congress was empowered to create provinces and cities because the creation of such necessarily included the power to create legislative districts, which explicitly under the Philippine Constitution was within the sole prerogative of Congress to establish. Consequently, the Court also declared unconstitutional the power of the Regional Assembly to create provinces and cities within the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Shariff Kabunsuan was composed of 11 municipalities in two Sanggunian districts:
- "Shariff Kabunsuan Province Created". Department of the Interior and Local Government; Local Government Academy. 8 January 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- "Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201; An Act Creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, Providing Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes" (PDF). Regional Legislative Assembly, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 205; An Act Creating the Municipality of Northern Kabuntalan in the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, Providing Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes" (PDF). Regional Legislative Assembly, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Unson, John (29 October 2006). "Maguindanao split decided in plebiscite". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Llanto, Jesus F. (16 July 2008). "Supreme Court voids creation of Shariff Kabunsuan". ABS-CBN News. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Unson, John (11 January 2009). "Shariff Kabunsuan province abolished". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Fernandez, Edwin O. (11 January 2009). "SC rules Shariff Kabunsuan is no more". Philippine Daily Inquirer (Inquirer Mindanao). Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2016.