North Cotabato v. GRP [Case Digest] - G.R No 183591 North...

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G.R. No. 183591 North Cotabato v. GRP October 14, 2008 The Province of North Cotabato, duly represented by Governor Jesus Sacdalan and/or Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piñol, for and in his own behalf, petitioners The Government of The Republic of The Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain (Grp), Represented by Sec. Rodolfo Garcia, Atty. Leah Armamento, Atty. Sedfrey Candelaria, Mark Ryan Sullivan and/or Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., the latter in his capacity as the present and Duly-Appointed Presidential Adviser on The Peace Process (Opapp) or The So-Called Office of The Presidential Adviser on The Peace Process, respondents, Carpio, J. FACTS: -On August 5, 2008, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement of the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP - MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. -Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern, the petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish them the complete and official copies of the MA-AD and to prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD and the holding of public consultation thereon. They also pray that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. The Court issued a TRO enjoining the GRP from signing the same. ISSUES: 1.Whether or not the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is ripe for adjudication; 2.Whether or not there is a violation of the people's right to information on matters of public concern (Art 3 Sec. 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest (Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) 3.Whether or not the signing of the MOA, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines would be binding itself a)to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a juridical, territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law; b)to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA; c)to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral domain in violation of Republic Act No. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT OF 1997), particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION, RECOGNITION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS) HELD: 1.The petitions are ripe for adjudication. The failure of the respondents to consult the local government units or communities affected constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate under EO No. 3. Moreover, the respondents exceeded their authority by the mere act of guaranteeing amendments to the Constitution. Any alleged violation of the Constitution by any branch of government is a proper matter for judicial review. As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance, the Court grants the petitioners, petitioners-in-intervention and intervening respondents the requisite locus standi in keeping with the liberal stance adopted in David v. Macapagal- Arroyo.

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