10 BBL provisions ‘unconstitutional’

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The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law has at least 10 provisions that are unconstitutional.

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This was disclosed on Tuesday  by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, chairman of the House Ad-Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro, after the  panel concluded at least 30 hearings and consultations on the proposed bill.

The proposed Bangsamoro measure, the fruit of the comprehensive peace pact between the government and the former separatist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that provides for transitional modalities, power sharing, wealth sharing and putting MILF combatants beyond use, will establish the Bangsamoro Region. This region will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,  which President Benigno Aquino 3rd described as a failed experiment.

“There’s no more hurdle to the passage of the BBL [Bangsamoro Basic law] aside from removing possible unconstitutional provisions. There are 10 to 15, give or take a few,” Rodriguez said.

He refused to disclose the “few” unsound provisions, but retired Supreme Court justices, including Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, had raised possible infirmities of the Bangsamoro measure, which provides that the Bangsamoro Region should have a separate police force, audit body and an anti-graft entity.

Also, the Bangsamoro bill allows expansion of its coverage if at least 10 percent of qualified voters in contiguous areas will ask for their inclusion at least two months prior to  ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic law and the process of delimitation of the Bangsamoro.

“Those [unconstitutional provisions]are not much, considering that the proposed measure has 200 sections. Rest assured that our intention is to make sure that it will be constitutional,” Rodriguez said.

The 75-member ad hoc panel will resume its discussions on the pending Bangsamoro Basic Law in an executive session, meaning without media coverage, on January 23 until January 30, 2015.

“We will finalize it [committee report]during the executive session,” Rodriguez said.

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2 Comments

  1. The whole concept of the BBL is unconstitutional.
    If Congress passes the BBL and the President signs it, knowing that it is unconstitutional, are they violating the constitution they took an oath to protect?
    Should the punishment be exile to the BBL territory?

  2. vagoneto rieles on

    Words matter. In the ARMM agreement, the area assigned to the Philippine Muslims by the Philippine government was categorized as a “region”. ‘Region’ is a generic description of a piece of land; as in ‘mountainous region’, ‘coastal region’ and so forth. It may also denote land populated by a group of people distinct from the others; but, It neither denotes nor invokes sovereignty or ownership..in either case. This is how Spain successfully categorizes her 17 autonomous regions…”regiones o comunidades autonomas”. “Territory”, on the other hand, identifies a piece of land, owned and protected by a sovereign country. This is what Guam and Puerto Rico are to the United States; and, the Falklands and Gibraltar are to the United Kingdom.
    In the BBL draft, on the other hand, the new and expanded area assigned to Bangsamoro, (to supplant ARMM), is categorized and identified as a “territory”…a sovereign area… whose integrity the ‘Bangsamoro Government’ would be duty-bound to protect. Imagine, if you will, a distinct state within another state…Kosovo within Serbia, Chechnya within Russia. That would be a development, that you would think, the government would want to avoid at all costs. But this isn’t so in the BBL draft. Our government is acting as midwife in the birthing of this “sovereign territory”…and our future governments (whoever the Presidents shall be), will be their rivals, partners, or nursemaids, depending.
    This BBL ‘pipe dream’, farce, and appeasement, (whatever), should be scrapped now. Let’s not alarm, nor give false hopes to all those concerned.