Legislative districts of South Cotabato

The legislative districts of South Cotabato are the representations of the province of South Cotabato and the highly urbanized city of General Santos in the various national legislatures of the Philippines. The province is currently represented in the lower house of the Congress of the Philippines through its first and second congressional districts.

Sarangani was last represented as part of South Cotabato in 1995, while General Santos City will be represented separately beginning in 2022.

HistoryEdit

Prior to gaining separate representation, areas now under the jurisdiction of South Cotabato were represented under the Department of Mindanao and Sulu (1917–1935) and the undivided province of Cotabato (1935–1967).

Republic Act No. 4849, enacted on June 18, 1966, created the province of South Cotabato from the southern municipalities of the old Cotabato province.[1] Normally in this time period chartered cities — by virtue of being independently governed — are not enumerated as part of new provinces. However, given that the legality of the plebiscite results which ratified the Charter of the City of Rajah Buayan (Republic Act No. 4413, enacted on June 19, 1965[2]) was still being decided in the courts at the time of R.A. 4849's approval, Section 1 of the said law explicitly listed the City of Rajah Buayan as part of South Cotabato in case it reverted to its former status as the municipality of General Santos, which eventually happened on 29 October 1966 when the Supreme Court nullified the 6 December 1965 COMELEC proclamation declaring the creation of the new chartered city.[3]

Per Section 5 of Republic Act No. 4849, South Cotabato's first separate representative was elected in a special election held on the same day as the 1967 senatorial elections[1] and began to serve starting in the second half of the 6th Congress. When General Santos finally became a city under the same name on June 15, 1968 by virtue of Republic Act No. 5412, it remained part of the representation of South Cotabato in accordance with Section 104 of its city charter.[4]

South Cotabato was represented in the Interim Batasang Pambansa as part of Region XI from 1978 to 1984. The province returned three representatives, elected at-large, to the Regular Batasang Pambansa in 1984.

Under the new Constitution which was proclaimed on February 11, 1987, the province was reapportioned into three congressional districts;[5] each elected its member to the restored House of Representatives starting that same year.

The passage of Republic Act No. 7228 and its subsequent ratification by plebiscite on 11 May 1992 separated South Cotabato's entire third district to create the new province of Sarangani.[6] This automatically reduced the province's representation to two districts. The former third district first elected a representative under the designation Lone congressional district of Sarangani beginning in the 1995 election.

The signing of Republic Act No. 11243 on March 11, 2019[7] created a new congressional district for the highly urbanized city of General Santos by separating it from South Cotabato's first district. The city is designated as the "Lone Legislative District of General Santos" in the title of Republic Act No. 11243, but also as the "Third Legislative District of South Cotabato" in the text.[7] However, the city will effectively constitute a lone district,[8] as it does not vote for provincial officials of South Cotabato.

Given that it was already too late for the Commission on Elections to change the old congressional district configuration data in the automated election system in time for the May 2019 polls, COMELEC Resolution No. 10524 was promulgated on April 11, 2019 to delay the elections for both the new lone congressional district of General Santos and the newly reconfigured first congressional district of South Cotabato to a date no less than six months from May 13, 2019.[9] By virtue of COMELEC Resolution No. 10552, the date of elections for the first district of South Cotabato and the lone district of General Santos was set for October 26, 2019.[8]

However, on September 10, 2019, the Supreme Court of the Philippines declared COMELEC Resolution No. 10524 null and void for violating the law, when COMELEC set separate special elections for the reconfigured first district of South Cotabato and the newly-created lone district of General Santos instead of using the new district boundaries in the next regular (i.e., 2022) election, as RA 11243[7] intended.[10] In the same ruling, the Supreme Court ordered COMELEC to convene a Special Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim the winning candidate, Shirlyn L. Bañas-Nograles who garnered 68.55% of the votes cast in the May 2019 election, as the duly elected representative of the 1st Congressional District of South Cotabato, including General Santos City.[10]

The Supreme Court ruling effectively maintains the old district configuration for the 18th Congress, and sets the election of the first separate representative for General Santos to the 2022 elections.


1st DistrictEdit

Period Representative[12]
8th Congress
1987–1992
Adelbert W. Antonino
9th Congress
1992–1995
Luwalhati R. Antonino
10th Congress
1995–1998
11th Congress
1998–2001
12th Congress
2001–2004
Darlene R. Antonino-Custodio
13th Congress
2004–2007
14th Congress
2007–2010
15th Congress
2010–2013
Pedro B. Acharon Jr.
16th Congress
2013–2016
17th Congress
2016–2019
18th Congress
2019–2022
Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles

Notes

  1. ^ Only votes as part of South Cotabato for representation in the various national legislatures since becoming a highly urbanized city in 1988.

2nd DistrictEdit

Period Representative[12]
8th Congress
1987–1992
Hilario L. De Pedro III
9th Congress
1992–1995
Daisy P. Avance-Fuentes
10th Congress
1995–1998
11th Congress
1998–2001
12th Congress
2001–2004
Arthur Y. Pingoy, Jr.
13th Congress
2004–2007
14th Congress
2007–2010
15th Congress
2010–2013
Daisy P. Avance-Fuentes
16th Congress
2013–2016
Ferdinand L. Hernandez
17th Congress
2016–2019
18th Congress
2019–2022

3rd District (defunct)Edit

Period Representative[12]
8th Congress
1987–1992
James L. Chiongbian
9th Congress
1992–1995

Lone District (defunct)Edit

Period Representative[12]
6th Congress
1965–1969
see Lone district of Cotabato
James L. Chiongbian[a]
7th Congress
1969–1972

Notes

  1. ^ Won the special election held on November 14, 1967 to fill the new province's congressional seat; took oath of office on January 22, 1968 and served for the remainder of the 6th Congress.[12]

At-Large (defunct)Edit

Period Representatives[12]
Regular Batasang Pambansa
1984–1986
Rufino B. Bañas
Hilario B. De Pedro
Rogelio Garcia

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Congress of the Philippines (June 18, 1966). "Republic Act No. 4849 - An Act Creating the Province of South Cotabato". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Congress of the Philippines (June 19, 1965). "Republic Act No. 4413 - An Act Creating the City of Rajah Buayan". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  3. ^ Supreme Court of the Philippines (October 29, 1966). "G.R. No. L-25469 - ELIGIO T. LEYVA and IRENEO L. SANTIAGO, petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, MUNICIPALITY OF GENERAL SANTOS, COTABATO, MUNICIPAL MAYOR, MUNICIPAL VICE-MAYOR, MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF GENERAL SANTOS, COTABATO, respondents". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Congress of the Philippines (June 15, 1968). "Republic Act No. 5412 - An Act Creating the City of General Santos". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  5. ^ 1986 Constitutional Commission (February 2, 1987). "1987 Constitution of the Philippines - Apportionment Ordinance". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Congress of the Philippines (March 16, 1992). "Republic Act No. 7228 - An Act Creating the Province of Sarangani". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Congress of the Philippines (March 11, 2019). "Republic Act No. 11243 - An Act Reapportioning the First Legislative District of the Province of South Cotabato, thereby creating the Lone Legislative District of General Santos City" (PDF). Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Commission on Elections (July 25, 2019). "COMELEC Resolution No. 10552 - IN THE MATTER OF: (1) SETTING THE DATE OF THE FIRST REGULAR ELECTIONS FOR MEMBER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE FIRST AND SECOND LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS OF SOUTHERN LEYTE, AND THE FIRST AND THIRD (LONE) LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS OF SOUTH COTABATO; AND (2) PRESCRIBING THE CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES AND PERIODS OF CERTAIN PROHIBITED ACTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SAID ELECTIONS" (PDF). Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  9. ^ Commission on Elections (April 11, 2019). "IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 11243 ENTITLED, "AN ACT REAPPORTIONING THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT OF THE PROVINCE OF SOUTH COTABATO, THEREBY CREATING THE LONE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT OF GENERAL SANTOS CITY."". Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Supreme Court en Banc (September 10, 2019). "G.R. No. 246328 - Vice Mayor Shirlyn L. Bañas-Nograles, et al. Vs. Commission on Elections". Supreme Court of the Philippines. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Population of Population of Legislative Districts by Region, Province, and Selected Highly Urbanized/Component City: 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Congressional Library Bureau. "Roster of Philippine Legislators". Republic of the Philippines, House of Representatives. Retrieved February 23, 2017.