Bai Sandra Sema (Photo by Rocky Nazareno | Manila Bulletin)

Rep. Sema files a bill seeking to declare Cotabato City as BARMM Capital

Cotabato City- Maguindanao and Cotabato City Rep. Bai Sandra Sema has filed House Bill No. 8880 seeking to declare Cotabato City as the capital of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), a report by Manila Bulletin said.

Sema said that, “Described as the crown jewel of the Bangsamoro Homeland, it is fitting and proper that Cotabato City be declared as the capital of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.” 

During the conduct of the plebiscite on January 21, 2019 for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law, majority of the people of Cotabato City voted for its inclusion to the BARMM.

“Cotabato City was the administrative center of the ARMM when Maguindanao was carved out in 1973. However, the city broke off administratively from Maguindanao as it rejoined SOCCSKSARGEN or Region 12 in the 1990s,” Sema said as quoted by the Manila Bulletin.

Sema said that sometime in 1515, the Sultanate of Maguindanao was formally established with Kota Wato (now Cotabato City) as its capital, and ruled a vast territory in Mindanao.

“Several towns were carved off from Cotabato Empire since the year 1913. Cotabato City used to be part of the original province of Cotabato and was its capital from 1920 until 1967, a year after the separation of South Cotabato,” she said.

The proposed Act shall take effect upon approval.