SC junks petitions vs Bangsamoro agreements – it’s premature
The Supreme Court has dismissed the petitions challenging the legality of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).
Voting unanimously, the high court said it is still premature to rule on the matter.
“Any question on the constitutionality of the [CAB] and [FAB], without the implementing [BBL], is premature and not ripe for adjudication,” the high court said.
Dismissed were the petitions filed by the Philippine Constitution Association, Tanggulang Demokrasya, Rev. Vicente Aquino et al., former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto Pras, and Rev. Elly Pamatong.
Petitioners claimed that the FAB and CAB ‘‘are flawed.’’
The CAB is a five-page 12-point text document representing the final peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). It provides, among others, for the turnover of firearms to a third party, which would be selected by the government and the MILF. It reiterates the commitment of the two parties to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, among others.
The group said the respondents, who include former chief government negotiator and current Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen who negotiated the FAB, and Miriam Coronel Ferrer who negotiated the CAB, gave the MILF “unimaginable benefits,” which the government may not legally grant without a yes from Congress.
“The provisions of the FAB and the CAB are all repugnant to the 1987 Constitution and existing laws. The Constitution is supreme. Any exercise of power beyond what is circumscribed by the Constitution is ultra vires (beyond the power) and a nullity,” the petitioners said.
Petitioners added that there are three rebel groups in Mindanao but the government excluded the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
But the high court, however said “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.”
It added that even if there are pending bills on the BBL before Congress, the high court still cannot exercise the power of judicial review because “it would be tantamount to rendering an advisory opinion on a proposed act of Congress.” RAM/rga
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