SC orders gov't to explain legality of Bangsamoro framework deal

December 11, 2012 11:24 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA, Dec. 11 — The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the government to explain on the petition questioning the legality of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

This was after the SC en banc ruled that the government must file its comment within a period of 10 days.

The SC sought to get the explanation of Malacanang as to questions on the legality of the agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The arguments to be presented will serve as the basis for the SC justices whether or not to enjoin the agreement.

Earlier, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen inhibited himself from handling the petition since he was a former party to the case.

Before Leonen was appointed SC Associate Justice, he was the chair of the government negotiating panel in talks with the MILF.

In a 24-page petition for certiorari filed by Atty. Elly Pamatong, president of the International Ministries for Perfect and Party Against Communism and Terrorism, Inc. (IMPPACT, INC.), he asked the SC to declare as unconstitutional the signed agreement.

The petitioners, who are also members of IMPPACT, are Rev. Mercidita Redoble and Rev. Vicente Libradores Aquino.

The case was raffled off to Leonen who immediately informed the SC that he will inhibit from the case.

With this, the petition would be raffled off with a new ponente, or the one tasked to write the decision to the case.

The petition accused the Government Peace Panel of allegedly committing grave abuse of discretion when it formulated the Framework Agreement.

The petitioners said that the forging of the agreement meant to dissolve the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which was formed via the 1976 Tripoli Agreement.

The international treaty, the petitioners said, was recognized by the 1996 Final Peace Agreement and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

The government has been standing pat on its decision, saying that, the framework would only complement, not disregard, the existing Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA).

Then government chief negotiator Leonen had also been expressing confidence that both parties would be able to complete the three annexes of the peace agreement by the end of the year. (PNA)

RMA/PTR

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