(Lead) Malacanang defends Framework Agreement with MILF

December 4, 2012 11:00 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Dec. 4 — Malacanang is bullish the Framework Agreement signed by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will pass constitutional scrutiny.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a press briefing Tuesday, said when the Framework Agreement was about to be signed by the former chair of the government peace panel, now Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, "the Framework Agreement was crafted with the Supreme Court decision on the MOA-AD (memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain) in mind."

Lawyer Elly Pamatong, a nuisance candidate in 2004 presidential polls, has a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the government’s Bangsamoro Framework Agreement with the MILF.

Pamatong, however, admitted in his pleadings even before the GPH and the MILF could come up with the annexes of the Framework Agreement and make it final.

He said the government peace panel allegedly committed grave abuse of discretion, saying the Constitution only provides for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the creation of a "Bangsamoro" is nowhere cited.

Pamatong claimed that the government peace panel, as a result, "has usurped the power of Congress to enact, amend or repeal laws vested on it by the Constitution."

He said this is similar to the Bangsamoro juridical entity that was intended to be formed during the Arroyo administration but was struck down by the Supreme Court.

By replacing the ARMM with Bangsamoro, Pamatong said, the government peace panel "acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction."

On the other hand, Valte stressed the government peace panel "was very mindful of what had happened in the past, and that every step they took was mindful of the mistakes of the past."

"We are confident that it (Framework Agreement) will pass constitutional scrutiny," she said. (PNA)

HBC/LGI

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