The Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development or SPCPD may be the last attempt of the Philippine government to formally integrate Moroland into the Filipino nation. This would also help in solving the almost three decades of fighting between government forces and Muslim rebels.

The creation of SPCPD is meant to represent the "full implementation of the Tripoli Agreement". This was an agreement entered into between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) signed in Tripoli, Libya, on December 23, 1976 - - with the participation of the Organization of Islamic Conference. Its objective was to end and settle the armed conflict between the GRP and the MNLF in Mindanao. It also provided the establishment of autonomy for Muslims in Mindanao within the realm of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines.

The SPCPD is not a provisional government because it is not a governing authority. It does not have any law-making power. Neither is it an autonomous region, a political subdivision of GRP, nor a public corporation. It has no separate judicial personality; hence, it cannot sue nor be sued. It is a transitory administrative arm under the control and supervision of the President of the Philippines; in other words, it is a presidential alter ego. Hence, its powers are just delegated from those of the President of the Philippines. Its functions are as follows:

  1. to take charge of the promotion, monitoring, and coordination of the improvement of peace and order in the area;

  2. to focus on peace and development efforts, especially in the depressed areas and initiate the implementation of appropriate projects;

  3. to support the local government units, when needed;

  4. to use other powers needed to implement its mandate as may be delegated by the President;

  5. to assist in the holding of elections, referenda, or plebiscite, and peoples' initiative in the area, if deputized by the Commision on Elections upon the recommendation of the President; and

  6. to recommend the creation of such offices or instrumentalities necessary for the effective and efficient administration of the affairs of the area.

However, the Office of the President will have to approve the needed budget. In the performance of the above functions, the SPCPD will coordinate with local officials and request their assistance in the promotion of peace and order or in the implementation of development projects in the area.

Nur Misuari, newly elected governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, has just been appointed as Chairman of the SPCPD. The President will also appoint a Vice Chairman and three deputies --one each representing the Muslims, the Christians, and the Lumads.