Quest for lasting peace (8)
AS already earlier stated, the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) was a preparatory document in that the mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation thereof were yet to be spelled out in a LATER document known as Comprehensive Compact.
Stated differently, the MOA-AD was (and to borrow a reference from international law experts Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Jorge Coquia) a pactum de contrahendo an agreement by a State to conclude a later and final agreement.
The MOA-AD encapsulized the MILFs and Bangsamoros idea of self-governance and autonomy in four (4) main brackets, i.e., a) political state, which is a SUB-STATE; b) territory; c) resources; and d) governance.
The sub-state referred to is the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) which the MOA-AD recognized as a semi-independent state in order to secure the identity and posterity of the Bangsamoros, to protect their property rights and resources as well as to establish a system of governance suitable and acceptable to them as a distinct dominant people, xxx to realize their humanitarian and economic needs as well as their political aspirations.
The BJE would have been a body politic organized by common consent for mutual defense and mutual safety and to promote the general welfare. It appeared to have all the elements of a state, namely, people, territory, sovereignty and government. The BJE, as presented in the MOA-AD, would have been a STATE, as the Philippines was during the Commonwealth period. It was, as held by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Laurel vs. Misa, a sovereign govern-ment although not absolute.
The BJEs territory embraced the regions of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan and is composed of the local government units listed in Annexes A and B of the MOA-AD. This territory supposedly consisted of communal and customary lands, maritime, fluvial and alluvial domains, the aerial domain, the air space above and natural resources. (TO BE CONTINUED)