1 T HE B ANGSAMORO B ILL N EEDS THE A PPROVAL OF THE F ILIPINO P EOPLE * Vicente V. Mendoza ** House Bill No. 4994 1 (“Bill”), which proposes the Bangsamoro Basic Law, has been filed in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which was signed on March 27, 2014, between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines peace panel and the counterpart panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The CAB is the second attempt to end the armed conflicts that for so long have dominated the relationship of the Government with Muslim Mindanao. The first one, the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) made in 2008, was declared void by the Supreme Court for being beyond the power of the Government to make under the Constitution. 2 Comparing the two agreements, I find that although much has already been done in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to make it conform to the Constitution, much remains to be done towards this end. Certain concepts and provisions of the Bill, when pieced together, reveal secessionist inclinations, notwithstanding the claim in the Preamble of the Bill that it is “consistent with the Constitution” and in its definition of the “Bangsamoro Territory” that the territory “shall remain a part of the Philippines.” 3 The recognition in the Bill of the “right [of the Bangsamoro people] to self-determination – beginning with the struggle for freedom of their forefathers in generations past and extending to the present – to chart their political future” 4 reinforces the impression that * Cite as Vicente V. Mendoza, The Bangsamoro Bill Needs the Approval of the Filipino People , 89 P HIL . L.J. 1, (page cited) (2015). This article is the expanded version of the statement of Justice Vicente V. Mendoza before the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law at the hearing on House Bill No. 4994 on Oct. 28, 2014. ** Ll.B, University of the Philippines College of Law; Ll.M, Yale Law School; Associate Justice (Retired), Supreme Court of the Philippines; Presiding Justice , Court of Appeals; Chairman , Court of Appeals, Second Division; Assistant Solicitor General , Office of the Solicitor General. 1 H. No. 4994, 16 th Cong., 2 nd Sess. (2014). Bangsamoro Basic Law [hereinafter “Bangsamoro Bill”]. 2 Province of North Cotabato v. Gov’t of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, G.R. No. 183591, 568 SCRA 402, Oct. 14, 2008 [hereinafter “Province of North Cotabato”]. 3 Bangsamoro Bill, art. III, § 1. 4 Preamble; art. I, § 3; art. IV, § 1; art VI, §§ 1, 3.
2 P HILIPPINE L AW J OURNAL [V OL . 89 : 1 Bangsamoro is a political entity that is only a little different from the “associated state” called Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) in the MOA-AD which was invalidated by the Supreme Court in 2008.
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- Summer '18
- Eunize Escalona
- Sovereignty, Bangsamoro Government, Bangsamoros