It’s final: MoA-AD unconstitutional

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Supreme Court denied with finality an appeal to reverse its earlier decision declaring as unconstitutional the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain signed by the government with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The High Court junked the separate motions for reconsideration filed by the Muslim Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. and two intervenor groups, the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society and the Bangsamoro Women Solidarity Forum.

The SC said the petitioners failed present substantial arguments to warrant the reversal of the questioned decision.

“The basic issues raised therein (motions for reconsideration) have already been passed upon by this court. The court resolved to deny with finality the said motions,” the decision said.

In an 89-page decision issued last month, the SC declared the MoA-AD unconstitutional and that the proposed Bangsamoro Juridical Entity under the agreement runs counter to national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic.

“The BJE is a far more powerful entity than the autonomous region recognized in the Constitution. It is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the status of its relationship with the national government being fundamentally different from that of the ARMM,” the SC said.

The high tribunal pointed out that while the MoA-AD would not amount to an international agreement or unilateral declaration binding on the Philippines under international law, the government’s act of guaranteeing amendments is, by itself, already a constitutional violation.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the Palace accepts the Supreme Court decision, noting that the agreement had long been scrapped.