Islamic accountants group asks SC to affirm legality of BOL
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Association of Islamic Accountants Inc. (PAIA) has asked the Supreme Court to affirm the legality of Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
R.A. 11054 creates the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in lieu of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), following the 2014 peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The PAIA, led by Amanoding Esmail, has filed a motion through lawyers Nasser A. Marohomsalic and Manuelito Luna for leave to intervene on the petitions questioning the legality of the BOL.
They want the petitions filed by the province of Sulu, represented by Gov. Abdusakur Tan II and the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), dismissed.
Tan and Philconsa believe that the BOL, which grants wider autonomy to Muslim Mindanao, is unconstitutional.
In his petition, Tan said the BOL contradicted the 1987 Constitution, particularly Article X, Sections 18 and 19, which mentioned the creation of an organic act for each autonomous regions.
In a 51-page answer-in-intervention, PAIA said the constitutional provision can only be construed as a mere directive for the first Congress elected under the 1987 Constitution to pass the organic acts for the autonomous regions in Mindanao and the Cordilleras within 18 months from the time of its organization while Section 18 relates to the process of such organic acts.
“Petitioner overreached in opining that the constitutional provisions delimit the legislative power of Congress; it is reading something into the provisions,” the group said.
PAIA added that the BOL is designed to protect the religious minority and a social justice legislation in compliance by government of its obligation under international law.
The region under BOL will be made up of Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur — the current ARMM members — pending a regional plebiscite. To be included are six municipalities of Lanao del Norte, 39 villages of Cotabato, and the chartered cities of Isabela and Cotabato, subject to the approval of voters.
The Commission on Elections has set the plebiscite for January 21. /ee
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