The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday junked the five petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed during the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd for being “premature.”
The SC en banc pointed out that Congress has not passed the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Three magistrates inhibited from the case — Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, who was the chairman of the government panel talking peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza, former Solicitor General; and Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.
“Until a [BBL] is passed by Congress, it is clear that there is no actual case or controversy that requires the court (SC) to exercise its power of judicial review over a co-equal branch of government,” the high court ruled.
The petitioners were the Philippine Constitution Association; Tanggulang Demokrasya; Rev. Vicente Aquino, Demokrasya; Rev. Vicente Aquino, et al.; former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras and Rev. Elly Pamatong.
They argued that the FAB and CAB are a revival of the MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain) inked during the term of President Gloria Arroyo which was declared unconstitutional by the high court.
The petitioners argued that the CAB and FAB violates the Constitution for describing the Bangsamoro’s relationship with the national government as “asymmetric” and allowing the Bangsamoro region to have a parliamentary form of government that has its own auditing body.
The tribunal said the case is “not ripe for adjudication” since it cannot exercise its power of judicial review over bills pending in Congress.
“It would be tantamount to rendering an advisory opinion on a proposed act of Congress,” the SC said.