SC junks anti-BBL case

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No law yet, nothing to declare unconstitutional

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The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is still a legislative measure pending in Congress. There’s nothing to declare unconstitutional.

This in effect, was the statement made by the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday, dismissing a petition asking it to declare unconstitutional the proposed law that seeks to create a new Bangsamoro political entity in the country’s southern Mindanao region.

“This case was dismissed for being premature,” SC spokesman Theodore Te said in a news conference, referring to the petition filed by a certain Rolando Mijares.

The High Court, moreover, ordered the Philippine government to comment within 10 days on two separate petitions seeking to void two agreements it had signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), namely the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The FAB, which was signed in 2012, calls for the creation of an autonomous political entity to replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The agreement served as the basis in drafting the proposed BBL.

The petitions were filed by the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras.

In its 26-page petition, the Philconsa, led by its president Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and former senator and The Manila Times columnist Francisco Tatad, asked the SC to order the Department of Budget and Management not to release funds meant to pursue or implement the FAB, CAB and BBL.

The Philconsa said the balance of unspent funds intended for the contested deals should instead be returned to the National Treasury.

It also sought an order to disallow the Commission on Audit from auditing funds and expenses incurred by the government panel.

The petitioners also want government peace panel members, particularly Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, be admonished and warned “to be more prudent and cautious in dealing with the amorphous, self-styled entity, exclusively to the exclusion of other Muslims, Christians and lumads.”

Leonen was chairman of the peace panel when the FAB was signed while his successor, Ferrer, was the signatory to the CAB.

In his separate petition, Paras asked Leonen to inhibit from hearing his petition since he was one of the signatories to the FAB.

SC spokesman Te, at Tuesday’s news conference, announced that Leonen has voluntarily inhibited himself from participating in cases involving the FAB, CAB and BBL.

“Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen who was the chairman of the government negotiating panel that negotiated the Framework Agreement for the Bangsamoro before being appointed to the Supreme Court has voluntarily inhibited himself from participation in the pending cases and any future cases involving the FAB, CAB and BBL,” he said.

Paras said both the FAB and CAB did not conform with the consultation requirement under Executive Order 3 and Memorandum of Instructions of the President, in violation of the constitutional right of the people to information on matters of public concern under Section 7, Article III of the Constitution.

He argued that the FAB and CAB are similar to the Memorandum of
Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), which he said was negotiated and signed without any public consultation.

The High Court had declared the MOA-AD unconstitutional.

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9 Comments

  1. Samuel Salcedo on

    Kung sa tingin ng korte na ito ang makakabuti, dapat irespeto na lang natin Ano pa ba Ang DAPAT PAG USAPAN dito tapos na! So ano pa ang gusto nila?

  2. so tired of news being sensationalized ,to what end? We end up talking about issues that have no bearing to current events. I suppose yun naman gusto ng media though mabaling ang attention ng tao sa kung ano man gusto nilang matakpan

  3. Roger Fernandez on

    The goal has always been to find peace. This means in the strictest sense, that we should study the proper ways forward to find a resolution.

  4. rolly punungbayan on

    the balance of unspent funds intended for the contested deals should instead be returned to the National Treasury

  5. Alfonso Dela Rosa on

    The high court should stop the Department of Budget and Management from releasing funds for the implementation of the FAB, CAB and eventually the BBL saying that the agreements have no legal basis

  6. Of course the BBL is only a piece of paper with words written on it. It is a proposal and not a law. The SC will not review it until it is law.

  7. Cres Malifier on

    The FAB and CAB are, as constantly stressed by MILF leaders, supposed to be binding international treaties with the force of treaties. Both confer on MILF the status of an entity symmetrical to the Philippine government–an actual state!!!
    Both contain provisions that completely violate the Philippine Constitution.
    The honorablemembers of the Supreme Court must swiftly act on these illegal “treaties” that the Aquino government signed in the name of the Philippine Republic with the Advise and Consent of the Philippine Senate as required b y our laws and the Constitution.
    Are the justices so fearful of doing what is right by law and the by common sense and sheer morality? Are they so afraid to issue a judgment that would ONCE MORE show that BS Aquino has committed an impeachable crime?

  8. Samuel Santos on

    The effort was not “all for naught.” Why? As pointed out in the news article: “The High Court, moreover, ordered the Philippine government to comment within 10 days on two separate petitions seeking to void two agreements it had signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), namely the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).”

  9. So should the FAB, CAB AND BBL be declared unconstitutional. Thanks God we have a Supreme Court to save us from the hands of traitors who sold us to the MILF.