SC urged to strike down Bangsamoro Framework Agreement

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2012 11:01 AM | Updated as of Dec 03 2012 07:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Unfazed by the recent appointment of Atty Marvic Leonen to the Supreme Court, lawyer Elly Pamatong filed on Monday a 24-page petition urging the high court to declare as unconstitutional the signed Bangsamoro Framework Agreement between government an the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Leonen, chairman of the government peace panel prior to his appoinent as SC Associate Justice, was instrumental in the forging of the framework agreement.

In his petition, Pamatong questioned the venue of the GPH-MILF exploratory talks, Malaysia. He claimed Malaysia is not a neutral party because of its claims over the disputed Sabah island, which the Philippines also claims.

Pamatong claims Malaysia has its own interests in brokering the talks.

He pointed out that the framework agreement should be declared null and void for the following grounds:

- it is substantially "the same" as the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the GPH and MILF
in 2008 which was stricken down as unconstitutional by the SC;
- it involves "paramount governmental and national interests that have not been subjected to opem and serious public discussions mandatorily required;"
- it is a "unilateral abrogation" of the Tripoli Agreement among the GPH, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC); and
- it commits GPH to "amend the 1987 Constitution" or pass certain laws.

The framework agreement was signed by top goverment and MILF officials last October 15.