Quest for lasting peace (11)
STATED differently, the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain was saying that from the vantage point of the MILF, it is up to the Philippine Government to make the necessary amendments in its Constitution and laws to make them conform to the provisions of the MOA-AD and the subsequent Comprehensive Compact anent the BJE’s structure of government.
It was in this sense that the Supreme Court struck down the MOA-AD.
For one, all that has been ceded to the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity, like jurisdiction and control over the utilization and disposition of the natural resources of the land and the natural resources of the internal waters, collides head-on with Article XII, Sec. 2 of the Constitution, which provides that all lands of the public domain, the eaters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, forces of potential energy, fisheries, timber, wild life, flora and fauna and other natural resources and the right to explore, develop or use them belongs to the State.
More significantly, under Article I of the Philippine Constitution, the Philippines has sovereignty over the entire territory defined therein. It is different under the MOA-AD where the sovereignty of the Philippine Government is compromised by declaring that with respect to the Bangsamoro ancestral domain and ancestral lands, the “relationship between the Central Government and the BJE shall be associative, characterized by shared authority and responsibility.
The MOA-AD is, of course, dead – after, in effect, having been considered as akin to a political furnace that spewed out toxins on the national fabric of the nation.
With the MOA-AD’s demise, what lies ahead in the continuing peace process between the GRP and the MILF?
The MILF appears not to have abandoned its BJE sub-state pursuit, and recent sporadic interviews by mass media of current MILF leadership seemed to have confirmed this. (TO BE CONTINUED)