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Philconsa leads petitions to SC vs BBL: It’s repugnant

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 04:10 AM June 20, 2015
ALL QUIET ON THE SOUTHERN FRONT While the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law faces delays and legal challenge in Congress and in the Supreme Court, combatants from both sides enjoy relative peace as a military transport passes a checkpoint set up by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao province.  The MILF checkpoint is marked by an old tire (inset). JEOFFREY MAITEM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

ALL QUIET ON THE SOUTHERN FRONT While the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law faces delays and legal challenge in Congress and in the Supreme Court, combatants from both sides enjoy relative peace as a military transport passes a checkpoint set up by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao province. The MILF checkpoint is marked by an old tire (inset). JEOFFREY MAITEM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

Using unusually strong language, several individuals on Friday filed two petitions at the Supreme Court against the peace agreement that the Aquino government entered into last year with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), assailing the pact as “repugnant,” invalid and a betrayal of Philippine sovereignty.

The petitioners said the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) by itself, as well as “all acts or issuances arising from” it, are unconstitutional.

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In particular, the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, asked the high court to immediately stop government efforts to see the fruition of CAB and its precedent document, Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), particularly the release of funds “for any activities to pursue or implement” the peace agreement.

Tatad, et al.

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Banding together in the Philconsa petition aside from Romualdez were former Sen. Francisco Tatad, former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla and Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz.

The petitions were filed even as the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, the enabling legislation that will give legal standing to the autonomous “Bangsamoro” region envisioned in the peace agreement, is being fiercely debated in and out of Congress.

The CAB, touted as the road map to peace in Mindanao, was signed with much fanfare in Malacañang in March 2014. It provides for the creation of a new autonomous “Bangsamoro” region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

‘Treacherous, unconstitutional’

The petitioners accused the government’s peace negotiators of treachery and of being far too accommodating of the MILF’s demands when they negotiated and signed the CAB and the FAB.

“Petition seeks to avert the destruction of the Republic of the Philippines, the dismemberment of its territory, the fragmentation of its people, the despoliation of its natural and human resources, and the wreckage of its tripartite system of government,” read the Philconsa petition, the first one to be filed yesterday.

The petitioners were vehement in expressing their opposition to the peace agreement, calling the FAB “unconstitutional and treacherous” and the CAB “equally void, flawed and polluted.”

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, BBL, Congress, Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla, FAB, Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Maguindanao province, MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Philconsa, Philippine Constitution Association, Sen. Francisco Tatad, Sultan Kudarat, Supreme Court, Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz
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