Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh look, Shariff Kabunsuan is gone

The Philippines lost a province last week, and now it's down to an even 80. The Supreme Court has voided the 2006 creation of Shariff Kabunsuan province out of Maguindanao:
The Supreme Court has declared the creation of the province of Shariff Kabunsuan in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao void and ruled that the power of ARMM’s legislature to create provinces and cities is unconstitutional.

The SC, in an 8-6 vote, declared void Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act 201, which created the province of Shariff Kabunsuan, which was carved out of Maguindanao province.

"Only Congress can create provinces and cities because the creation of provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of legislative districts," the 33-page decision penned by Justice Antonio Carpio reads.
Why news like this doesn't get more attention is beyond me. This is interesting stuff! It's literally reshaping the Philippine map, not to mention putting a governor out of a job and thrusting an entire provincial bureaucracy into limbo, yet the story didn't even make the front page.

Did anyone even know about the creation of Shariff Kabunsuan from Maguindanao in October 2006? What about the creation of Dinagat Islands province from Surigao del Norte later that year?

Incredibly, The Inquirer even got their headline of their article wrong, saying that the Philippines is down to 79 provinces instead of 80 (it has since been corrected). Now that's just sloppy. Perhaps even more disheartening is knowing that only me and a handful of other map-hungry dudes caught the mistake.