BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION NO. 1628
DECLARING AUTONOMY IN SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES
WHEREAS, in an agreement executed on December 23, 1976 between the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front with the participation of representatives of the Quadripartite Ministerial Commission of the Islamic Conference and with the assistance of the Secretary General of the Islamic Conference, it was agreed that within the realm of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines, autonomy shall be declared in 13 provinces of Southern Philippines;
WHEREAS, in subsequent negotiations held from February 9, 1977 to March 3, 1977, also at Tripoli, Libya, the parties were unable to agree on certain vital aspects of the autonomy to be established in Southern Philippines;
WHEREAS, the First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos visited Libya from March 12-22, 1977 and on the occasion of said visit had discussed with Col. M. Khaddafy, the leader of the great First of September Revolution of the People’s Socialist Libyan Arab Jemeheriya, the problem in Southern Philippines, in light of an impasse in the negotiations held from February 9, 1977, to March 3, 1977;
WHEREAS, in the course of said discussions, Col. M. Khaddafy proposed to break the impasse in the aforementioned negotiations with the declaration by President Ferdinand E. Marcos of autonomy for the thirteen (13) provinces mentioned in the Tripoli agreement of December 23, 1976 within the realm of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines, the organization of a provisional government for such areas of autonomy, in which provisional government the concerned parties of the Moro National Liberation Front and the inhabitants of the areas of autonomy shall take part and the holding of a referendum by the provisional government concerning the manner in which the inhabitants within the areas of autonomy may wish to organize themselves administratively in accordance with the Constitution of the Philippines;
WHEREAS, on the following day, March 19, 1977, President Ferdinand E. Marcos informed Col. Muammar Al Ghaddafi of his approval of the above proposal;
WHEREAS, immediately after the receipt of the telegram of President Ferdinand E. Marcos dated March 19, 1977, Col. Muammar Al Ghaddafi informed President Ferdinand E. Marcos by telegram of the approval of the agreed formula by the Members of the Quadripartite Ministerial Committee of the Islamic Conference, the current President of the Islamic Conference and the Islamic States supporting the endeavours of the People’s Socialist Libyan Arab Jemeheriya and requesting that the same be implemented at the earliest possible time;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby declare autonomy in Southern Philippines to be composed of the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur in Region 9, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat in Region 12, Palawan in Region 4-A, and Davao del Sur and South Cotabato in Region II.
Prior to the establishment of the Regional Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council as envisioned in the Tripoli Agreement dated December 23, 1976, there is hereby created a Provisional Regional Government in the above-mentioned areas to be composed of seven (7) members appointed by the President, two (2) of whom shall be from the Moro National Liberation Front and one (1) member to be recommended by other liberation fronts in the provinces concerned. Its main functions, powers and responsibilities are as follows:
1. To prepare for the referendum in the said areas;
2. To prepare for the election of the regional legislative assembly in the said areas;
3. To administer said areas in accordance with the existing laws and policies governing the activities presently being undertaken by the local government units therein; and
4. To exercise such other powers as the President of the Philippines may direct.
The results of the referendum of April 17, 1977 shall determine the manner in which the inhabitants of the areas of autonomy may wish to organize themselves administratively in accordance with the Constitution of the Philippines and the formula proposed by Col. Muammar Al Ghaddafi, the leader of the great First of September Revolution of the People’s Socialist Libyan Arab Jemerehiya.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 25th day of March, in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-seven.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) JUAN C. TUVERA