Lobregat: Features of MOA-AD are in the BBL PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 March 2015 14:31

District 1 Representative Celso Lobregat the other day revealed that almost all of the features of the failed Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) are found in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now stalled in Congress following the January 25 Mamasapano incident.

Lobregat divulged this during the House session March 2, as he engaged Muntinlupa Congressman Rodolfo Biazon, who delivered a privilege speech on the BBL and Mamasapano incident, in a lengthy but enriching interpellation, opening up new angles in the discussion of the mired BBL.

“There are provisions there that are seemingly problematic, I have studied the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the annexes and almost all the features of the MOA-AD, are on the BBL,” Lobregat lamented saying this came about notwithstanding calls that the proposed measure should pass the scrutiny of the Constitution and that the current peace negotiations with the MILF will not be a repetition of the mistakes of the past but rather a lesson learned experience.

The MOA-AD, it is recalled was declared unconstitutional and not within the bounds of law by the Supreme Court on the third quarter of 2008. Lobregat, then the city mayor, was one of the petitioners along with then North Cotabato Governor Jesus Sacdalan and then Iligan Mayor Lawrence Cruz and other personalities.

Among the similar features Lobregat cited are provisions on the internal waters whereby in the failed MOA-AD the boundary is within 15km from the shoreline but in the BBL, it is 22 km from the shoreline, among others.

Concurred and affirmed by Cong. Biazon, the Zamboanga solon said the ball now is with the House of Representatives in as far as coming up with a proposed BBL that will be stand constitutional scrutiny and is acceptable to all stakeholders, unlike the MOA-AD.

Lobregat also emphasized that even before the signing of the CAB and FAB, he, then as city mayor, has engaged with the government peace panel for several times, reminding the government panel of the conduct of genuine consultations with all the sectors. “As early as 2011, I was already engaging the panel and bringing out so many concerns through letters and exchange of communications. Even before the signing of the FAB, we even asked for its deferment until all the consultations will be done.”

And what is more disturbing, Lobregat revealed during the session in Congress, is the fact that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leadership asserts that it negotiated its peace agreement with the understanding that it was negotiating with the totality of the Philippine government or the whole of government including the branches of government.

Both Biazon and Lobregat expressed surprise at the MILF assertion saying that it is a challenge to hurdle, as Congress is in the process of coming  up with an acceptable BBL that is constitutional and within the bounds of law. It is the understanding of the MILF that when the CAB and the FAB were signed, the president had committed Congress and the judiciary.

The District 1 congressman subsequently delivered a privilege speech in Congress on March 4, pertaining to the resumption of House hearings on the BBL.

Lobregat read on the floor a letter signed by MILF’s Mohaguer Ikbal which stresses that the powers of the president “allow him to bind the whole of the government including its different branches of government.” The letter was part of the documents submitted by the MILF to the House Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL during a hearing last December 2014.  — Jubels Santos