FACTS: The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) brought about by the Government of the republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as an aspect of Tripoli Agreement of Peace in 2001 is scheduled to be signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This agreement was petitioned by the Province of North Cotabato for Mandamus and Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. The agreement mentions "Bangsamoro Juridical Entity" (BJE) to which it grants the authority and jurisdiction over the Ancestral Domain and Ancestral Lands of the Bangsamoro; authority and jurisdiction over all natural resources within internal waters. The agreement is composed of two local statutes: the organic act for autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA).
ISSUE: Whether or not the GRP violated the Constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and initiated the MOA-AD and Whether or not the MOA-AD brought by the GRP and MILF is constitutional
HELD:GRP violated the Constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and initiated the MOA-AD and it are unconstitutional because it is contrary to law and the provisions of the constitution thereof.
REASONING: The GRP is required by this law to carry out public consultations on both national and local levels to build consensus for peace agenda and process and the mobilization and facilitation of people’s participation in the peace process.
Article III (Bill of Rights)
Sec. 7. The right of people on matters of public concern shall be recognized, access to official records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law , that state adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.
LGC (1991), “require all national agencies and officers to conduct periodic consultations. No project or program be implemented unless such consultations are complied with and approval mus be obtained.”
Article VII (Executive Department)
Sec. 21. No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.
Article X. (Local Government)
Sec. 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the province, cities, municipalities and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions on Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera as hereinafter provided.
Sec. 15. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.
Section 16. The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure that laws are faithfully executed.
Sec. 18. The creation of autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituents units in a plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that only provinces, cities and geographic areas voting favourably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region.
Sec. 20. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national laws, the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over:
1. Administrative organization;
2. Creation of sources of revenues;
3. Ancestral domain and natural resources;
4. Personal, family, and property relations;
5. Regional urban and rural planning development;
6. Economic, social, and tourism development;
7. Educational policies;
8. Preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and
9. Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region.
The President has sole authority in the treaty-making.
ARTICLE XVII (AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS)
Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:
1. The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or
2. A constitutional convention.
Section 4. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision.
MOA-AD states that all provisions thereof which cannot be reconciled with the present constitution and laws “shall come into force upon signing of a comprehensive compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework.” The president’s authority is limited to proposing constitutional amendments. She cannot guarantee to any third party that the required amendments will eventually be put in place nor even be submitted to a plebiscite. MOA-AD itself presents the need to amend therein.
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