• SC urged: Void BBL

    LEGAL EAGLES  Members of the Philippine Constitution Association (from left) former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Bishop Romulo dela Cruz, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, former senator Francisco Tatad, Archbishop Fernando Capalla and retired justice Manuel Lazaro show their copies of the petition they filed with the Supreme Court. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

    Members of the Philippine Constitution Association (from left) former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Bishop Romulo dela Cruz, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, former senator Francisco Tatad, Archbishop Fernando Capalla and retired justice Manuel Lazaro show their copies of the petition they filed with the Supreme Court. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

    The Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and a former congressman asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday to declare unconstitutional the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which negotiators from the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed in 2014.

    Two similar petitions were filed earlier by lawyer Oliver Lozano and a certain Rolando Mijares.

    An SC source, however, said the justices would likely dismiss the cases for being premature.

    Ma;acanang deputy l spokesman Abigail Valte questioned the timing of the filing of the petitions

    “It is interesting that these challenges to the FAB and CAB come at this time, more than a year after both were signed,” she said in a text message to reporters.

    The government signed the FAB with the MILF in October 2012, and the CAB in March last year.

    Valte said they are confident that government lawyers would be able to defend the signing of the peace agreement before the Supreme Court.

    “Government will be ready to answer once the Supreme Court directs us to do so,” she added.

    In its 26-page petition, Philconsa, led by its president Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and former senator and The Manila Times columnist Francisco “Kit” Tatad asked the high tribunal to stop the Department of Budget and Management from releasing funds to pursue or implement the FAB, the CAB and the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

    Joining Romualdez and Tatad in the petition were Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Archbishop Fernando Capalla, Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz and former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales.

    Romualdez is the first cousin of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, which rejected the draft BBL.

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

    Also, the petitioners asked that the Commission on Audit be barred from auditing funds and expenses incurred by the government peace panel that negotiated with the MILF.

    The chairman of the government peace panel should also be admonished and be 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,” the Philconsa said.

    Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen headed the peace panel when the FAB was signed while his successor, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, signed the CAB.

    According to the Philconsa, Leonen, thru the FAB, “agreed and granted unimaginable social, economic, political and financial benefits to the MILF which the executive department may not legally grant without the concurrence of the legislative or the judicial department, or without first amending the 1987 Constitution.”

    It argued that the peace process was flawed because it excluded other rebel groups from the negotiations, namely the Moro National Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

    “The peace process should be defined by all Filipinos as one community, not by the GPNP [government peace negotiating panel]and MILF panels only,” the petition read.

    Philconsa also accused Leonen and Ferrer of usurping a power they did not have when they committed to cause the amendment of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and existing laws to conform with the FAB and CAB.

    “The FAB and CAB are nothing but toxic intellectual contortions meant to delude and deceive the people into believing that they could take them as a panacea for their organic ills when they were actually designed to subvert them,” the petition read.

    “In agreeing to replace the ARMM [Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao] with the Bangsamoro, in violation of the Constitution and existing laws, without first amending the Constitution and pertinent laws, the FAB and the CAB have caused undue injury to the government and inflicted a fatal wound upon the Constitution,” it said.

    In former congressman Jacinto Paras’ petition, he argued that that the CAB and FAB violated the consultation requirement under Executive Order 3, and memorandum of instructions of the President; executed in excess of authority for the guarantee that “certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution will be amended to suit the provisions of the [CAB and FAB]; are violative of the Constitution for describing the Bangsamoro’s relationship with the national government as “asymmetric,” providing for “territorial waters;” allowing a parliamentary form of government; the creation of an own auditing body; and grant of concurrent and exclusive powers.”

    “By allowing a violation of the Constitution, the law, and the settled jurisprudence, respondents acted in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction,” his petition read.



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    1. “It is true that the BBL is flawed with little deficiencies that can easily be amended”

      Fixing stuff isn’t the current governments forte, meaning what exactly has this Liberal Party fixed in the last 5 years ?

      The 25% Poverty rate ?

      The shortage and unreliable electric power problem ?

      Flooding in Manila ?

      The education system ? over crowded and under funded schools ?

      The MRT ? Had 60 trains at one time down to 7 now

      They pass a law prohibiting political dynasty’s like the constitution calls for yet ?

      How about the freedom of information bill promised 5 years ago ?

      Fix the overcrowded prison problem yet ?

      What about the corruption of the government ? Charging only 3 opposition senators fix that problem ?

      Could go on with this all day, the only thing improving is the net worth of the elected officials.

    2. This is what I’m telling you igbal ferret n etc know nothings about laws fund bustard Gawa Gawa ng bbl sa pays ta’s lang pala PUPUNTA bobo na pinaka tanga pa pwe

    3. ibasura ang BBL at ng mabaliw ng husto ang presidenteng pasaway ng Pilipinas. You are threatening Senator Bong Bong marcos, to replace by your allies regarding this BBL. Why dont your try to have a coup detat in the Senate?? Lahat na lang ng ginagawa nitong abnormal na presidente puro labag sa ating constitution. Instead, you destroy the Judiciary System of the Philippines , by bribing the congress and your allies to pass your BBL, aside from the case of Mr. Corona. You spent the money of the Filipino people by bribing your allies to impeach Mr. Corona in his position of around 1 billion Pesos …

    4. Roldan Guerrero on

      Why is PIGNOY Aquino forcing the enactment of BBL? He wants it to be in force before he gets down in office. No Filipino is not aware of his abuses, and crimes he committed together with his allies. His problem now is his safe haven. With the BBL operational before he gets down, he can avoid prosecution by using the new moro state, together with his partners in crime, they will hide there. Of course the New Bangsamoro State will welcome him and his allies with open hands.

    5. genesisbughaw on

      The project bangsamoro of the President B.S Aquino shadow controllers simply want to balkanize us.

      In my barbero language; “gulo-gulo po yan” tapos pasok ang mga controllers pag nangyari yan mag kaka watak watak po ang Inang Bayan natin.

      Mere legislation to replace what’s in our Constitution in a total act of idiocy.

      Controllers of Prisidint Aquino knows how to manage, exploit the mind deficiency or cerebral deficit of their prisidint.

    6. The Aquino administration is just making false-hopes to Mindanao. BBL is a total failure even before its pass. Do they have any common sense? The government is just wasting a lot of time and resources on it.

    7. Ms. Valte, it is only now that the PhilConsA is reacting to the FAB AND CBA coz in the past you and your gangmates in Malacanang did not, will not listen to the voice of majority. There is only thing in the minds of your cabal, this so called PEACE in Mindanao. I will tell this to you: THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE IN MINDANAO AS LONG AS PEOPLE FROM MILF WHO USE ALIASES ARE NOT TRUE TO THEIR COMMITMENT TO PEACE. Unknown persons you and your weird president tolerated in the past and at present. Do you know who you’re dealing with? For sure, you will join Rancid the Raccoon to jail when his term ends in 2016.

    8. Junk the BBL. amend the ARMM. It is not “Muslim Mindanao” there are only a small percentage of Muslims in Mindanao, there are Catholics, Protestants, INC, and other denominations, Buddhists and Lumads.

    9. This BBL is totally a waste of time ,abolish autonomous regions root of problem.

    10. Thank you to all who filed the petitions in the SC against the MILF documents. This is work done on behalf of the PH and its people. All documents with the MILF should be junked and all money given to them returned to the Treasury.

    11. Venerando Desales on

      It is fine that the petition was finally filed. It is irresponsible for that SC source to say that the petition will likely be dismissed. Whoever he is, he should be held in contempt. Even if the BBL law is not yet passed, the administration is already implementing it, recent of which is the decommissioning process. There is already a right in esse and a cause of action on the part of the petitioners to enjoin the respondents. Remember the RH law, even if parts of it were declared unconstitutional, yet, the administration continues to implement those parts. These respondents are really enemies of the State!

    12. The BBL is the best tool we have to achieve peace in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. It would be disastrous if the Supreme Court would void the BBL upon the behest of people who have no compassion for the original settlers of the country and legitimate Filipinos. We, the non Moros, are only products of colonialism from the Chinese, Spaniards, British, Americans, Japanese, etc. The Moros and other natives in Mindanao and Sulu archipelago have been deprived fair treatment as bonafide citizens this country by our government for more then half a millennium and now these opposing the BBL would not allow the government to make amends for all those shortcomings.

      It is true that the BBL is flawed with little deficiencies that can easily be amended, such as it does not include all Moros and other natives in the areas and the aspect of territorial autonomy which might be misconstrued as granting a state within a state.

      • laguatanlawZen.com on

        Mr. Pedro Albea, you refused to see, are have failed to see the various ramifications of he BBL if it is rammed through the throat of all Filipinos, as you want it done. It is NOT definitely a sure hit political panacea for permanent peace in Mindanao. Rather, it might become a powder keg for future bigger social problems. Other lumads who were ignored, left out, or not represented in this rambunctious so-called peace process would feel aggrieved. There were so many numerous legal grounds raised by some groups of legal luminaries why this BBL should be thrown into the garbage can. I will not delve deeper into this, after all its legal defects had been exposed. Are you from Mindanao? If you are NOT you have no right to speak for Mindanawans. I grew up from Mindanao hence, I know how deeply-rooted is our social problems in Mindanao.

    13. Rosauro Feliciano on

      Some provisions of the BBL must be revised, deleted and revised to ensure conformance with our Constitution and ONLY then the BBL should be enacted into a law. A clause should be incorporated into the BBL to make sure that the Bangsamoro will not be separated from the Republic of the Philippines forever.

      • laguatanlawZen.com on

        There is no need to revise the BBL, after all it is unconstitutional. The most practical way is to amend the existing law on ARMM which had been adjudged constitutional by the SC. Review the existing ARMM law then remove the kinks provisions, improve it to conform to the social, economic, political aspirations of all the people in Mindanao. Why go through a circuitous route?.