Monday, December 3, 2012

Group questions gov’t peace pact with MILF

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 3): Group questions gov’t peace pact with MILF

A petition has been filed with the Supreme Court asking that it declare as unconstitutional the signed Bangsamoro Framework Agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). In his 24-page petition for certiorari, petitioners said the Government Peace Panel committed grave abuse of discretion when it bounded the entire government to acts that violate the Constitution. Petitioners include Rev. Vicente Libradores Aquino; Rev. Mercidita Redoble and International Ministries for Perfect and Party Against Communism and Terrorism Inc. (Imppact, Inc.) through its President Atty. Elly Pamatong.

The framework agreement stipulated the creation of a Bangsamoro government in five provinces—Basilan, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Marawi, Cotabato and Isabela and six other municipalities of North Cotabato. “These provinces and cities are all covered by the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. Both the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) are representing the same people and the same territory. Surely, the implementation of the Framework Agreement will nullify the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Final Peace Agreement,” the petitioners said.

The petitioners pointed out that the existence of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was by virtue of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, an international treaty recognized by the Organization of Islamic Conference and the 1996 Final Peace Agreement. “The dissolution of the ARMM will mean the dissolution of the two agreements…Indeed, in 1987, the Philippine government honored its commitment to an international agreement by including in the Constitution the creation of an ARMM…,” petitioner stated.

Petitioners also questioned the venue of the GPH-MILF exploratory talks which is Malaysia. They said it is not a neutral country because of its claims over the disputed Sabah Island, which the Philippines also claims. The peace panel was headed by newly appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen. It was signed on Oct. 15, 2012.

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