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- For the person after which the former province was named, see Mohammed Kabungsuwan.
Shariff Kabunsuan was a province of the Philippines within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that existed from 2006 to 2008. The law establishing the province was nullified by the Philippine Supreme Court 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 October 29, 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 which 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 July 17, 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. <ref>ABS-CBN News Online (Beta)</ref> 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.<ref>abs-cbnnews.com, Supreme Court voids creation of Shariff Kabunsuan</ref>
Despite a motion for reconsideration filed by ARMM officials, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its ruling in January 2009, thereby rendering its decision as final. <ref>Edwin O. Fernandez. "SC rules Shariff Kabunsuan is no more", Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2009-01-11. Retrieved on 2009-01-15. </ref>
Shariff Kabunsuan was composed of 11 municipalities in two Sanggunian districts:
|Municipality|| No. of
| Pop. density|
|Sultan Kudarat (Nuling)||<center>39||<center>78,951||<center>611.51|
|Municipality|| No. of
| Pop. density|
|Datu Blah T. Sinsuat||<center>12||<center>12,916|
|Datu Odin Sinsuat (Dinaig)||<center>34||<center>71,569||<center>503.20||<center>142.2|
|Northern Kabuntalan||<center>11||<center> 9,673||<center>||<center>|
- COMELEC Resolution No. 7727, Plebiscite to ratify the creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan
- ABS-CBN News - Maguindanao votes to create new province
- ‘Mr shut up’ Dilangalen is back in the race
- Inquirer.net, Sultan Kudarat town aims for nat’l recognition
|Former Philippine provinces and cities|
|Provinces||Agusan ·Ambos Camarines ·Cotabato ·Kalinga-Apayao ·Lanao ·Mindanao and Sulu ·Misamis ·Moro Province ·Negros del Norte ·Occidental Leyte ·Oriental Leyte ·Shariff Kabunsuan ·Zamboanga|
|Cities||Basilan1 ·Batac ·Baybay ·Bayugan ·Bogo ·Borongan ·Cabadbaran ·Carcar ·Catbalogan · Dagu-cala ·Daraga3 ·El Salvador ·Guihulngan ·Lamitan ·Mati ·Naga ·Nueva Cáceres ·Rajah Buayan2 ·Tabuk ·Tandag ·Tayabas|
|1 Dissolved, and converted into province. ·2Formally now known as General Santos City. ·3Daraga was split from Legazpi City.|
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