• Treason, sedition raps filed vs govt peace panel

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    Members of the government peace panel were taken to court on Thursday and accused of treason for pushing for enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

    Named respondents in the 34-page complaint filed with the Manila Prosecutors’ Office were chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer; Senen Bacani, Yasmin Busran-Lao and Mehol Sadain, all members of the peace panel; Zenonida Brosas, a former consultant to the peace panel; and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles.

    Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen was included in the complaint as a former chairman of the panel that negotiated peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Leonen was named to the High Court after the signing of a peace agreement between the government and the MILF in October 2012.

    Officials and members of the MILF peace team were also included in the complaint.

    Named respondents were Mohagher Iqbal, Datu Michael Mastura, Maulana Alonto, Abdulla Camilian, Datu Antonio Kino, Ibrahim Ali, Talib Abdulhamid Benito, Pedrito Eisma, Raissa Jajurie, Froilyn Mendoza, Hussein Muñoz, Akmad Sakkam, Said Shiek, Asani Tammang, Timuay Melanio Ulama and Johaira Wahab.

    Signing the information as complainants were Buhay party-list Representatives Joselito
    Atienza, Michael Velarde Jr. and Irwin Tieng; Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz; The Manila Times columnist Ambassador Jose Romero Jr.; and international law expert Jeremy Gatdula.

    The proposed BBL is based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the peace agreement signed between the Philippine government and the MILF.

    The draft of the law was personally submitted by President Benigno Aquino 3rd to Congress on September 10, 2014.

    The proposed BBL has been approved by the House Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL and the House ways and means committee.

    Its counterpart measure in the Senate is undergoing review by the committee on local government.

    The complainants alleged that the proposed law usurps the power of Congress to enact laws and gives the Bangsamoro not only autonomy as a local unit but also independence.

    “The proposed BBL, in its entirety, promotes the eventual self-determination of the Bangsamoro political entity, which violates the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines,” they said.

    Citing a Supreme Court ruling, the complainants pointed out that “no sub-group within the Philippines is entitled to self-determination. Despite this ruling, the respondents still chose to include the sovereign concept of ‘self-determination’ in the BBL. Such persistence is a clear sign of intent to incite others to secede.”

    They said the asymmetric relation between the Bangsamoro government and the national government has caused curtailment of power of the executive branch of the government.

    According to them, some of the powers given to the Bangsamoro government that were supposed to be exclusive to the national government include the power to appoint and to create the Bangsamoro Commission on Audit and Shari’ah Supreme Court.

    They pointed out that the Constitution only allows one Supreme Court and one Commission on Audit.

    The BBL, the complainants said, allows, too, the Bangsamoro Parliament to also create provinces and cities and to collect taxes.

    “The respondents’ strategy for inciting sedition or treason is comprehensive…The respondents also incite people to strip away the superiority of the National Government and to prevent the executive department to freely exercise its power as provided by the Constitution,” they added.

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    9 Comments

    1. A government should never negotiate with terrorist because all they do is lie. their greed will never be satisfied. if BBL is passed by senate MILF rebels will only benefit in this law, not The Filipino People.

    2. jose b. taganahan on

      No to BBL yes to strengthening of the constitutionally mandated ARMM

    3. First is to abolish autonomous region it is poison because the next one they want will be independence there is no autonomous region in the world that remain peaceful .The peace negotiators sided with the enemy of the state the terrorist MILF on the peace negotiation and that is treason.They should all be tried thru military court if found guilty will be shot in a firing squad.

    4. if they the MILF and MNLF want to continue war then let them have and this time it has to be a war to submission and surrender and no more negotiations. negotiations are over.

    5. What keeps ringing in my ear as a peace loving Pilipino is the threat by the peace panel negotiators – BBL or war! With this threat, approve or not, damaged has already been done to the nation. Tama lang na makasuhan sila na sedition and treason.

    6. Wayne Stringer on

      It is always disturbing when a small aggressive minority can force a government to allow it to have autonomous control over a section of a sovereign state and it’s population despite the majority wishes. Unfortunately this destroys any form of federation under the one country, one people, one law, one flag and one future concept.
      How can a provision that allows a plebiscite to join the Bangsamoro region if 10 percent of residents in a contiguous area petition for it, be fair, moral and allowed by any country with a constitution that is Democratic. The people of the Philippines especially those in Mindanao should be concerned at this act of treachery and betrayal. My wife was born in Cotabato city and her family is muslim. However, they and many others dont want any part of the BBL or to live under any archaic Islamic system.

    7. It is about time that treason and sedition cases be filed against these criminals. Let us support the complaints, all the way.