Philconsa asks Supreme Court: Declare BOL unconstitutional

MANILA, Philippines –  The Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to declare the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL)  as "unconstutitional, null and void.”

In a 34-page petition, Philconsa also asked the High Court to issue a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the law, which creates the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in place of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Named respondents in the petition are the Senate represented by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, the House of Representatives represented by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the Office of the President represented by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

Philconsa also sought a TRO to stop Malacañang from implementing Executive Order No. 120 that formed the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, for “creating public offices only Congress has the mandate to create.”

“Unless a TRO or preliminary injunction is issued, petitioner and the Filipino people will continue to suffer from a grave and irreparable damage or injury inclusive of the adverse aftermaths to the nation, warned by the MILF to happen, should the government fail to succumb to the politically irresistible aspirations of the MILF,” the petition read.

Philconsa also argued that unless a TRO is issued “unlawful disbursements or uses of public funds pursuant to the illegal/unconstitutional RA 11054 will escalate into continuing violations, if not a flaunting disregard or defiance, of the Constitution, and the laws further prejudicing public interest and welfare.”

The petitioner suggested the passage of a law to change the name ARMM to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region or BARMM, and to include additional territories as desired by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as long as these are in accordance with laws and the Constitution.

In 2015, Philconsa led a group that filed a petition before the SC asking that the government's peace deals with the MILF be declared unconstitutional. The BOL is the culmination of those peace agreements inked in 2012, under the administration of Benigno Aquino III.

The Philconsa petition is the latest  legal challenge to the BOL. In October 30, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan II filed the first petition against the landmark law.

Malacañang said on Tuesday, December 18, that it would defer to the SC on legal questions raised against the administration measure.

The Commission on Elections has set two dates for the plebiscite on the BOL – January 21, 2019, and February 6, 2019. – Rappler.com