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MEMO FOR: SKP

FROM: LEGIS - JVQ (Jovy Anne Querubin)


RE: BBL Related Cases
DATE: December 18, 2017

RELATED CASES

Province of North Cotabato et. al. vs.


Government of the Republic of the Philippines et. al.

THE PROVINCE OF NORTH COTABATO, duly represented by GOVERNOR JESUS


SACDALAN and/or VICE-GOVERNOR EMMANUEL PIOL, for and in his own behalf,
Petitioners,

- versus -

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON


ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP), represented by SEC. RODOLFO GARCIA, ATTY. LEAH
ARMAMENTO, ATTY. SEDFREY CANDELARIA, MARK RYAN SULLIVAN and/or GEN.
HERMOGENES ESPERON, JR., the latter in his capacity as the present and duly-appointed
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) or the so-called Office of the Presidential
Adviser on the Peace Process,
Respondents.

x--------------------------------------------x

CITY GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBOANGA, as represented by HON. CELSO L. LOBREGAT,


City Mayor of Zamboanga, and in his personal capacity as resident of the City of Zamboanga,
Rep. MA. ISABELLE G. CLIMACO, District 1, and Rep. ERICO BASILIO A. FABIAN,
District 2, City of Zamboanga,
Petitioners,

- versus -

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING


PANEL (GRP), as represented by RODOLFO C. GARCIA, LEAH ARMAMENTO, SEDFREY
CANDELARIA, MARK RYAN SULLIVAN and HERMOGENES ESPERON, in his capacity
as the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process,
Respondents.
THE CITY OF ILIGAN, duly represented by CITY MAYOR LAWRENCE LLUCH CRUZ,
Petitioner,

- versus

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON


ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP), represented by SEC. RODOLFO GARCIA, ATTY. LEAH
ARMAMENTO, ATTY. SEDFREY CANDELARIA, MARK RYAN SULLIVAN; GEN.
HERMOGENES ESPERON, JR., in his capacity as the present and duly appointed Presidential
Adviser on the Peace Process; and/or SEC. EDUARDO ERMITA, in his capacity as Executive
Secretary.
Respondents.

x--------------------------------------------x

THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, as represented by


HON. ROLANDO E. YEBES, in his capacity as Provincial Governor, HON. FRANCIS H.
OLVIS, in his capacity as Vice-Governor and Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan, HON. CECILIA JALOSJOS CARREON, Congresswoman, 1st Congressional
District, HON. CESAR G. JALOSJOS, Congressman, 3rdCongressional District, and Members
of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, namely, HON. SETH
FREDERICK P. JALOSJOS, HON. FERNANDO R. CABIGON, JR., HON. ULDARICO M.
MEJORADA II, HON. EDIONAR M. ZAMORAS, HON. EDGAR J. BAGUIO, HON.
CEDRIC L. ADRIATICO, HON. FELIXBERTO C. BOLANDO, HON. JOSEPH BRENDO C.
AJERO, HON. NORBIDEIRI B. EDDING, HON. ANECITO S. DARUNDAY, HON.
ANGELICA J. CARREON and HON. LUZVIMINDA E. TORRINO,
Petitioners,

- versus -

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING


PANEL [GRP], as represented by HON. RODOLFO C. GARCIA and HON. HERMOGENES
ESPERON, in his capacity as the Presidential Adviser of Peace Process,
Respondents.

x--------------------------------------------x

ERNESTO M. MACEDA, JEJOMAR C. BINAY, and AQUILINO L. PIMENTEL III,


Petitioners,

- versus -

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING


PANEL, represented by its Chairman RODOLFO C. GARCIA, and the MORO ISLAMIC
LIBERATION FRONT PEACE NEGOTIATING PANEL, represented by its Chairman
MOHAGHER IQBAL,
Respondents.

x--------------------------------------------x

FRANKLIN M. DRILON and ADEL ABBAS TAMANO,


Petitioners-in-Intervention.

x--------------------------------------------x

SEN. MANUEL A. ROXAS,

Petitioners-in-Intervention.

x--------------------------------------------x

MUNICIPALITY OF LINAMON duly represented by its Municipal Mayor NOEL N. DEANO,


Petitioners-in-Intervention,

x--------------------------------------------x
THE CITY OF ISABELA, BASILANPROVINCE, represented by MAYOR CHERRYLYN P.
SANTOS-AKBAR,
Petitioners-in-Intervention.

x--------------------------------------------x

THE PROVINCE OF SULTAN KUDARAT, rep. by HON. SUHARTO T. MANGUDADATU,


in his capacity as Provincial Governor and a resident of the Province of Sultan Kudarat,
Petitioner-in-Intervention.

x-------------------------------------------x

RUY ELIAS LOPEZ, for and in his own behalf and on behalf of Indigenous Peoples in
Mindanao Not Belonging to the MILF,
Petitioner-in-Intervention.

x--------------------------------------------x

CARLO B. GOMEZ, GERARDO S. DILIG, NESARIO G. AWAT, JOSELITO C. ALISUAG


and RICHALEX G. JAGMIS, as citizens and residents of Palawan,
Petitioners-in-Intervention.

x--------------------------------------------x

MARINO RIDAO and KISIN BUXANI,


Petitioners-in-Intervention.

x--------------------------------------------x

MUSLIM LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION, INC (MUSLAF),


Respondent-in-Intervention.

x--------------------------------------------x

MUSLIM MULTI-SECTORAL MOVEMENT FOR PEACE & DEVELOPMENT (MMMPD),


Respondent-in-Intervention.

[G.R. No. 183591, October 14, 2008]

BACKGROUND

Consolidated Cases:

On August 5, 2008, the Government of the Republic of the


Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),
through the Chairpersons of their respective peace negotiating panels,
were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral
Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on
Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Five Cases bearing the same subject matter were consolidated by the
Court namely:

GR 183591 by the Province of Cotabato and Vice Governor Pinol, on


its prayer to declare the MOA-AD unconstitutional and to have its
contents be disclosed to the public and be open for public consultation.

GR 183752 by the City of Zamboanga et al., on its prayer to declare


the MOA-AD null and to exclude the city to the Bangsamoro Juridical
Entity (BJE).

GR 183893 by the City of Iligan enjoining the respondents from


signing the MOA-AD and additionally impleading Exec. Sec. Ermita.

GR 183951 by the Province of Zamboanga del Norte et al., praying to


declare the MOA-AD null and void and without operative effect and
that respondents be enjoined from executing said agreement.

GR 183692 by Maceda, Binay and Pimentel III, praying for a


judgment prohibiting and permanently enjoining respondents from
formally signing and executing the MOA-AD, and or any other
agreement derived therefrom or similar thereto, and nullifying the
MOA-AD for being unconstitutional and illegal. Iqbal was also
impleaded in this case.

Timeline of Various Agreements and Negotiations

The MOA-AD is a result of various agreements entered into by and


between the government and the MILF starting in 1996.

July 18, 1997 the GRP and MILF Peace Panels signed the
Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities.

August 27, 1998 the General Framework of Agreement of Intent


was signed.

Towards the end of 1999 up to early 2000, the MILF attacked a number
of municipalities in Central Mindanao and, in March 2000, it took
control of the town hall of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.

President Joseph Estrada then declared and carried out an all-out-war


against the MILF.
When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office, peace talks
resumed and through the help of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohammad, the MILF agreed to continue peace talks.

March 24, 2001 the parties signed the Agreement on the General
Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks Between the GRP and
the MILF. The MILF thereafter suspended all its military actions.

June 20-22, 2001 Formal peace talks between the parties were held
in Tripoli, Libya giving birth to the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on
Peace (Tripoli Agreement 2001).

August 5-7, 2001 The second round of peace talks was held
in Cyberjaya, Malaysia where the parties signed the Implementing
Guidelines on the Security Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement 2001. This
lead to a ceasefire status between the parties.

May 7, 2002 at Putrajaya, Malaysia The Implementing Guidelines


on the Humanitarian Rehabilitation and Development Aspects of the
Tripoli Agreement 2001, where signed by the parties.

July 13, 2003 Then MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim passed away
on and was eventually replaced by Mohagher Iqbal.

Years later, in 2005, several exploratory talks were held between the
parties which eventually lead to the crafting of the draft MOA-AD in
its final form.

MOA-AD Overview

The MOA-AD identified the Government of the Republic of the


Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as
parties. Under the heading Terms of Reference (TOR), the MOA-AD
includes not only four earlier agreements between the GRP and MILF, but
also two agreements between the GRP and the MNLF: The 1976 Tripoli
Agreement, and the Final Peace Agreement on the Implementation of the
1976 Tripoli Agreement, signed on September 2, 1996 during the
administration of President Fidel Ramos.

The MOA-AD also identifies as TOR two local statutes the organic
act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the
Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), and several International Law
instruments, the ILO Convention No. 169 Concerning Indigenous and
Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries in relation to the UN Declaration
on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, and the UN Charter, among
others. It also includes the principle of Islam particularly the compact
rights entrenchment or the law of compact, treaty and order.

The body of the MOA-AD on the other hand is divided into concepts
and principles, territory, resources, and governance. Embodied in
concepts and principles, is the definition of Bangsamoro as All
indigenous peoples of Mindanao and its adjacent islands. It states tha
these people have the right to self-governance of their Bangsamoro
homeland to which they have exclusive ownership by virtue of their prior
rights of occupation in the land.

The MOA-AD goes on to describe the Bangsamoro people as "the


First Nation' with defined territory and with a system of government
having entered into treaties of amity and commerce with foreign nations."

It then mentions for the first time the "Bangsamoro Juridical Entity"
(BJE) to which it grants the authority and jurisdiction over the Ancestral
Domain and Ancestral Lands of the Bangsamoro.
As defined in the territory of the MOA-AD, the BJE shall embrace
the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan geographic region, involving the present
ARMM, parts of which are those which voted in the inclusion of ARMM
in a plebiscite.

The territory is divided into two categories. A will be subject to


plebiscite not later than 12 months after the signing and B will be
subject to a plebiscite 25 years from the signing of another separate
agreement.

It is embodied in the MOA-AD that the BJE shall have jurisdiction


over the internal waters, 15kms from the coastline of the BJE territory.
They shall also have "territorial waters," which shall stretch beyond the
BJE internal waters up to the baselines of the Republic of the Philippines
(RP) south east and south west of mainland Mindanao. It is also said that
within these territorial waters, the BJE and the government shall exercise
joint jurisdiction, authority and management over all natural resources.
The sharing of minerals in the territorial waters was mentioned but there
was no provision on the sharing of minerals in the internal waters.
There is also a stipulation that the BJE is free to enter into any
economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries and shall
have the option to establish trade missions in those countries, as well as
environmental cooperation agreements. The external defense of the BJE
is to remain the duty and obligation of the government. The BJE shall
have participation in international meetings and events like those of the
ASEAN and the specialized agencies of the UN. They are to be entitled
to participate in Philippine official missions and delegations for the
negotiation of border agreements or protocols for environmental
protection and equitable sharing of incomes and revenues involving the
bodies of water adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the
ancestral domain. The BJE shall also have the right to explore its
resources and that the sharing between the Central Government and the
BJE of total production pertaining to natural resources is to be 75:25 in
favor of the BJE. And they shall have the right to cancel or modify
concessions and TLAs.

Lastly in the aspect of governance, the MOA-AD claims that the


relationship between the GRP and MILF is associative and is
characterized by shared authority and responsibility. This structure of
governance shall be further discussed in a Comprehensive Compact which
was eventually contested before the Court. The same compact included
details on the right of the BJE to build, develop and maintain its own
institutions.

ISSUES

1. Whether or not respondents, the Government of the Republic of the


Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, violated
constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and
right to information when they negotiated and later initialed the
Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD);

2. Whether or not the contents of the Memorandum of Agreement on


the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) violated the Constitution and
other Philippine laws.
SUPREME COURT RULING

The Supreme Court declared the Memorandum of Agreement on the


Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) to be contrary to law and the Constitution.

Violation of Right to Information and


Statutory provisions on Public Consultation

The contents of the MOA-AD are a matter of paramount public


concern involving public interest in the highest order. In declaring that the
right to information contemplates steps and negotiations leading to the
consummation of the contract, jurisprudence finds no distinction as to the
executory nature or commercial character of the agreement.

An essential element of these twin freedoms is to keep a continuing


dialogue or process of communication between the government and the
people. Corollary to these twin rights is the design for feedback
mechanisms. The right to public consultation was envisioned to be a
species of these public rights.

At least three pertinent laws animate these constitutional


imperatives and justify the exercise of the people's right to be consulted
on relevant matters relating to the peace agenda.

One, E.O. No. 3 itself is replete with mechanics for continuing


consultations on both national and local levels, and for a principal forum
for consensus-building. In fact, it is the duty of the Presidential Adviser
on the Peace Process to conduct regular dialogues to seek relevant
information, comments, advice, and recommendations from peace
partners and concerned sectors of society.

Two, Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991
requires all national offices to conduct consultations before any project or
program critical to the environment and human ecology including those
that may call for the eviction of a particular group of people residing in
such locality, is implemented. The MOA-AD is one peculiar program that
unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the
Bangsamoro people, which could pervasively and drastically result to the
diaspora or displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total
environment.
Three, Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act
of 1997 provides for clear-cut procedure for the recognition and
delineation of ancestral domain, which entails, among other things, the
observance of the free and prior informed consent of the Indigenous
Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples. The present Constitution does
not grant the Executive Department or any government agency the power
to delineate and recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement
or compromise.

The invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege as a defense to


the general right to information or the specific right to consultation is
untenable. In any event, respondents effectively waived such defense after
it unconditionally disclosed the official copies of the final draft of the
MOA-AD, for judicial compliance and public scrutiny.

In sum, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed


grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent
consultation process, as mandated by E.O. No. 3, Republic Act No. 7160,
and Republic Act No. 8371. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD
was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal
authority, and amounts to its whimsical, capricious and oppressive
exercise. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal
to perform the duty enjoined.

Violations of the Law

Assuming without conceding that the public was informed of the


contents of the MOA-AD, said agreement is still fatally defective.

On matters of the Constitution

The MOA-AD states that the type of relationship between the parties
is Associative. This shows that the agreement vests into the BJE a status
of an Associated State, which was rejected by the Supreme Court
because its concept is not recognized under the 1987 Constitution.

No province, city, or municipality, not even the ARMM, is


recognized under our laws as having an "associative" relationship with
the national government. Indeed, the concept implies powers that go
beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or regional
government. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a
state. The Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state in this
jurisdiction other than the Philippine State, much less does it provide for
a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for
independence

Further, the court disagrees with respondents that the MOA-AD


merely expands the ARMM. The status of its relationship with the
national government is fundamentally different from that of ARMM. The
BJE is a state in all but name, as it meets the criteria of a state such as a
permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and a capacity
to enter into relations with other states. The concept of association runs
counter to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the
Republic.

On the Expansion of the Territory of the BJE

The territories covered by the BJE include those areas where


constituents voted in the plebiscite to become part of the ARMM. Under
the MOA-AD, these areas need not participate in the plebiscite. This
provision is in conflict with the Constitution as it specifically provides
that The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when it is
approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a
plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that only provinces, cities, and
geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in
the autonomous region. Clearly, even assuming that the BJE is just an
expansion of the ARMM, it would still be in violation of the law because
the inclusion provided under the law is to the ARMM and not to the BJE.

On the Powers Vested in the BJE as an Entity

Respondents contend that the powers vested to the BJE in the MOA-
AD is within Sub-paragraph 9 of Sec 20, Art. 101 of the Constitution.
Accordingly, it is claimed that a mere passage of a law is necessary in

1
SECTION 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:

Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the
(9)
people of the region.
order to vest the BJE with powers included in the Agreement. However,
the Supreme Court ruled that such conferment calls for an amendment of
the Constitution, otherwise the new legislation will not concur with the
present provisions of the law.

As an example, the Court cited the power to negotiate with foreign


nations. Under the Constitution such power is vested solely on the
President. However, when the MOA-AD is signed and the BJE is granted
authority to negotiate with other states, the provision with the President
as the sole individual granted with authority to negotiate with foreign
states, must be accordingly be amended. Some of the powers vested in
the BJE will be in conflict with the powers granted by the Constitution.

On matters of Domestic Statutes

Provisions contrary to the organic act of ARMM

R.A. 90542 is a bar to the adoption of the definition of Bangsamoro


people as used in the MOA-AD. The law specifically distinguishes
between the Bangsamoro people and the Tribal people. This runs counter
to the definition provided in the MOA-AD as it includes all indigenous
peoples of Mindanao.

Provisions contrary to the IPRA Law

The delineation and recognition of the Ancestral Domain is a clear


departure from the procedure embodied in the IPRA Law despite being a
term of reference of the MOA-AD.

On matters of International Law

The Philippines adopts the generally accepted principle of


international law as part of the law of the land. In international law, the
right to self-determination is recognized. This states that people can freely
determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social,
and cultural development.

2
An Act to Strenthen and Expand the Organic Act for Autonomous Region in Muslin Mindanao,
amending for the purpose Republic Act 6734, entitled An Act Providing for the Autonomous
Region of Muslin Mindanao, as Amended
On matters relative to indigenous people, international law states
that indigenous peoples situated within states do not have a general right
to independence or secession from those states under international law,
but they do have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters
relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for
financing their autonomous functions. They also have the right to the
lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned,
occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

Clearly, there is nothing in the law that required the State to


guarantee the indigenous people their own police and security force,
rather, it shall be the State, through police officers, that will provide for
the protection of the people. As to the autonomy of the indigenous people,
the law does not obligate States to grant indigenous peoples the near-
independent status of a state. This is because it would impair the territorial
integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent states.

MOA-AD is fatally defective

While there is a clause in the MOA-AD stating that the provisions


thereof inconsistent with the present legal framework will not be effective
until that framework is amended, the same does not cure its defect. The
inclusion of provisions in the MOA-AD establishing an associative
relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is, itself, a
violation of the Memorandum of Instructions from The President dated
March 1, 2001, addressed to the government peace panel. Moreover, as
the clause is worded, it virtually guarantees that the necessary
amendments to the Constitution and the laws will eventually be put in
place. Neither the GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is authorized
to make such a guarantee. Upholding such an act would amount to
authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in
Congress, a Constitutional Convention, or the people themselves through
the process of initiative, for the only way that the Executive can ensure
the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or
interference with that process.

While the MOA-AD would not amount to an international


agreement or unilateral declaration binding on the Philippines under
international law, respondents' act of guaranteeing amendments is, by
itself, already a constitutional violation that renders the MOA-AD fatally
defective.
Philippine Constitutional Association et. al. vs.
Philippine Government et. al.

PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA), represented by its President


Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, FRANCISCO S. TATAD, ARCHBISHOP RAMON C.
ARGUELLES, ARCHBISHOP ROMULO T. DE LA CRUZ, ARCHBISHOP FERNANDO R.
CAPALLA, and NORBERTO B. GONZALES, Petitioners
vs.
PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT (GPH), represented by MARVIC M.V.F. LEONEN, and
MIRIAM CORONEL FERRER, MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT, FLORENCIO B.
ABAD, and COMMISSION ON AUDIT, Respondents

x-----------------------x

G.R. No. 218761

TANGGULANG DEMOKRASYA (TAN DEM), INC., represented by its President TERESITA


DAZA BALTAZAR, PILAR L. CALDERON, RIZALITO YAP DAVID, ROSITA K.
IMPERIAL, MA. SALOME A. MABLE, SERAFIN G. OCAMPO, and ELENA SAN
AGUSTIN, Petitioners,
vs.
PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT (GPH), represented by MARVIC M.V.F. LEONEN and
MIRIAM CORONEL FERRER, and MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT, represented by
Mohagher Iqbal, Respondents.

x-----------------------x

G.R. No. 204355

REV. VICENTE LIBRADORES AQUINO, REV. MERCIDITA S. REDOBLE, and


INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES FOR PERFECTION AND PARTY AGAINST
COMMUNISM AND TERRORISM, INC. represented by its President, Petitioners,
vs.
GPH PEACE PANEL CHIEF NEGOTIATOR ATTY. MARVIC M.V.F. LEONEN, HON.
SECRETARY TERESITA QUINTOS-DELES, PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON THE PEACE
PROCESS, HON. PAQUITO L. OCHOA, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, and MEMBERS OF
THE GPH PEACE PANEL, Respondents.

x-----------------------x

G.R. No. 218407

JACINTO V. PARAS, Petitioner,


vs.
MIRIAM CORONEL FERRER, SENEN C. BACANI, YASMIN BUSRAN-LAO, MEHOL K.
SADAIN, and TERESITA DELES, Respondents.

x-----------------------x

G.R. No. 204354

REV. ELLY VELEZ PAMATONG, ESQ., Petitioner,


vs.
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON
BANGSAMORO, REPRESENTED BY ITS NEGOTIATORS, MARVIC M.V.F. LEONEN,
and PRESIDENT BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, Respondents.

[G.R. No. 218406, November 29, 2016]

BACKGROUND

These are consolidated petitions challenging the constitutionality


and validity of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB)
and the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) entered into
between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF) on March 27, 2014 and October 12, 2012,
respectively.

G.R. No. 218406 The Philippine Constitution Association


(Philconsa) contend that the provisions of the CAB and the FAB
violate the Constitution and existing laws. They argue that the conduct
of the peace process was defective since the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Peace Panel negotiated only with
the MILF and not with the other rebel groups. Hence, respondents
violated Section 3(e) and (g) of Republic Act No. 3019 in giving
unwarranted advantages to the MILF.

G.R. No. 218761 The Tanggulang Demokrasya (TAN DEM), Inc.,


represented by its officers claim that the CAB and the FAB are
unconstitutional since the agreements seek to create a virtual sub-state
known as the Bangsamoro Political Entity (BPE) to replace the
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and guarantee to
make amendments to the Constitution, to shift from the present unitary
state to a new federal state which is beyond the GRP Peace Panel's
power and authority to commit.

G.R. No. 204355 Petitioners Rev. Vicente Libradores Aquino et. al,
and International Ministries for Perfection and Party Against
Communism and Terrorism, Inc. (IMPPACT, Inc.) argue that the GRP
Peace Panel usurped the power of Congress to enact, amend, or repeal
laws since it bound Congress to agree to the provisions of the FAB and
abolish the ARMM.

G.R. No. 218407 Petitioner Jacinto V. Paras argues that the CAB
and the FAB violate the provisions of the Constitution, as well as the
consultation requirement under Executive Order (EO) No. 3 and
Memorandum of Instructions of the President. Petitioner further
contends that respondents exceeded their authority when they
guaranteed the amendment of certain provisions of the Constitution to
conform to the CAB and the FAB.

G.R. No. 204354 Petitioner Rev. Elly Velez Pamatong claims that
the constitutionally infirm MOA-AD of 2008 and the FAB are
substantially the same since they are both aimed at creating a "fully
independent Islamic State" covering Mindanao, Palawan, and Sulu.
Petitioner argues, among others, that there were no consultations
regarding the FAB. Petitioner further contends that the doctrine of res
judicata applies since the MOA-AD and the FAB are similar.
Consequently, the decision in the MOA-AD case is applicable.

Essentially, the petitions commonly seek to declare the CAB and the
FAB unconstitutional for being similar to the void MOA-AD, which was
struck down by the Court for violating, among others, the constitutional
provisions on constitutional amendments.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

September 15, 1993 President Fidel V. Ramos issued EO No. 125


creating the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
and calling for a "comprehensive, integrated and holistic peace process
with Muslim rebels" in Mindanao.

February 28, 2001 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued EO


No. 3 which amended EO No. 125 to reaffirm the government's
commitment to achieve just and lasting peace in the Philippines
through a comprehensive peace process. Pursuant to EO No. 3, the
Government Peace Negotiating Panel (GPNP) held negotiations with
the MILF, an armed, revolutionary Muslim separatist group based in
Mindanao seeking separation of the Muslim people from the central
government

July 27, 2008 negotiations eventually led to the preparation of the


Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD)
October 14, 2008In the case of Province of North Cotabato v.
Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on
Ancestral Domain, the Court declared the MOA-AD unconstitutional.

During the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the


government resumed peace negotiations with the MILF.

15 October 2012 A preliminary peace agreement called the


FAB was signed between the government and the MILF. The FAB
called for the creation of an autonomous political entity named
Bangsamoro, replacing the ARMM.\

17 December 2012 President Benigno S. Aquino III issued EO No.


120, constituting the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, tasked,
among others, to (1) draft the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law with
provisions consistent with the FAB, and (2) recommend to Congress
or the people proposed amendments to the 1987 Philippine
Constitution. Under Section 5 of the same EO, the Bangsamoro
Transition Commission shall cease to operate upon the enactment by
Congress of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

After further negotiations, the following Annexes and Addendum to


the FAB were also signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:

1. Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities;


2. Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing;
3. Annex on Power Sharing;
4. Annex on Normalization; and
5. On the Bangsamoro Waters and Zones of Joint Cooperation
Addendum to the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth
Sharing and the Annex on Power Sharing

The Annexes and Addendum discussed the following:

- The Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, signed on


27 February 2013, established the transitional process for the
establishment of the Bangsarnoro and detailed the creation of the
Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the Bangsamoro Basic Law
and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

- The Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing, signed on


13 July 2013, enumerated the creation of sources of revenues for the
Bangsamoro government and its power to levy taxes, fees and
charges.

- The Annex on Power Sharing, signed on 8 December 2013,


discussed intergovernmental relations of the central government, the
Bangsamoro government and the constituent units under the
Bangsamoro.

- The Annex on Normalization, signed on 25 January 2014, outlined


the laying down of weapons of MILF members and their transition
to civilian life.

- The Addendum on the Bangsamoro Waters and Zones of Joint


Cooperation, signed on 25 January 2014, detailed the scope of
waters under the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro (12
nautical miles from the coast) and Zones of Joint Cooperation in the
Sulu Sea and the Moro Gulf.
27 March 2014 The Philippine Government, represented by GPNP
Chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, signed the CAB, which was an
integration of the FAB, the Annexes and the other
agreements previously executed by the government and the MILF.

10 September 2014 A draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law was


presented by President Aquino to the 16th Congress.

- On 27 May 2015, the Committee on the Basic Bangsamoro Law of


the House of Representatives substituted passed House Bill No.
5811.

- In the Senate, a revised version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law or


Senate Bill No. 2894, was presented on 10 August 2015. However,
on 6 June 2016, the 16th Congress adjourned without passing the
proposed measure.

7 November 2016 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued EO No.


08 expanding the membership and functions of the Bangsamoro
Transition Commission.

- EO No. 08 expands the number of members of the Bangsamoro


Transition Commission from 15 to 21.
- Section 3 of EO No. 120, as amended by EO No. 08, provides for
the functions of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

ISSUES

The threshold issue in this case is whether the Comprehensive


Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the Framework Agreement on
the Bangsamoro (FAB), are unconstitutional.

SUPREME COURT RULING

The court dismissed the petitions as there was no actual case or


controversy involved.

In Province of North Cotabato et.al vs. Government of the Republic


of the Philippines (MOA-AD case), the Court rejected the argument of the
Solicitor General that there was no justiciable controversy that was ripe
for adjudication. The Court disagreed with the Solicitor General's
contention that the initialed but "unsigned MOA-AD is simply a list of
consensus points subject to further negotiations and legislative
enactments as well as constitutional processes aimed at attaining a final
peaceful agreement.

Accordingly, the Court ruled that when an act of a branch of


government is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it
becomes not only the right but also the duty of the judiciary to settle the
dispute. Moreover, in the MOA-AD case, the Executive was about to sign
the initialed MOA-AD with the MILF in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the
presence of representatives of foreign states. Only the prompt issuance by
the Supreme Court of a temporary restraining order stopped the signing,
averting the implications that such signing would have caused.

In the present case, however, the Court agrees with the Solicitor
General that there is no actual case or controversy requiring a full-blown
resolution of the principal issue presented by petitioners. Unlike the
unconstitutional MOA-AD, the CAB, including the FAB, mandates the
enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law in order for such peace
agreements to be implemented. In the MOA-AD case, there was nothing
in the agreement which required the passage of any statute to implement
its provisions, which in essence would have resulted in dramatically
dismembering the Philippines by placing the provinces and areas covered
by the MOA-AD under the control and jurisdiction of a Bangsamoro
Juridical Entity.

The MOA-AD as an agreement did not provide for the enactment of


subsequent legislation to implement its provisions. In fact, its provisions
were immediately implementable after its signing warranting the timely
intervention by this Court to rule on its constitutionality.

Further, under the MOA-AD, the Executive branch assumed the


mandatory obligation to amend the Constitution to conform to the MOA-
AD. In effect, the Executive branch usurped the sole discretionary power
of Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution as well as the
exclusive power of the sovereign people to approve or disapprove such
proposed amendments.

The CAB and the FAB cannot be implemented without the passage
of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. The CAB and the FAB remain peace
agreements whose provisions cannot be enforced and given any legal
effect unless the Bangsamoro Basic Law is duly passed by Congress and
subsequently ratified in accordance with the Constitution. The CAB and
the FAB do not purport to preempt this Congressional power.

The CAB, as the consolidation of the peace agreements between the


government and the MILF, requires the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic
Law, its submission to the Office of the President and the President's
submission of a draft Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress as a legislative
proposal. It is a fundamental premise of the CAB that a law and a
ratification process are required for its "actual implementation."

The functions of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which


explicitly include the drafting of proposals for a Bangsamoro Basic Law,
as required under the CAB and the FAB, highlight the fact that the CAB
and the FAB are mere preliminary framework agreements which will
guide the Bangsamoro Transition Commission in the formulation of the
proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law for submission to Congress, which may
adopt such proposed law in whole or in part, amend or revise the same, or
even reject it outright.

During the Aquino administration, the Bangsamoro Transition


Commission submitted its proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to former
President Benigno S. Aquino III, who submitted the same to the
16th Congress, which however failed to enact the same before its
adjournment. Thus, the bill proposing the Bangsamoro Basic Law has to
be refiled with the present Congress. With the signing of EO No. 08 by
President Duterte, the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission
shall redraft the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to be submitted to the
President who is expected to certify it to the present Congress as an urgent
bill. Congress, in turn, may or may not accept the proposed Bangsamoro
Basic Law as it is worded. There is therefore no guarantee that Congress
will enact the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Congress has the sole discretion
whether or not to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law, as proposed by the
Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

It is not the CAB or the FAB that will establish the Bangsamoro but
the Bangsamoro Basic Law enacted by Congress and ratified in a
plebiscite in accordance with the Constitution. Congress must still enact
a Bangsamoro Basic Law. The requirement of a Bangsamoro Basic Law
under the CAB and the FAB ensures that the pitfalls under the invalid
MOA-AD will be avoided.

Even if there were today an existing bill on the Bangsamoro Basic


Law, it would still not be subject to judicial review. The power of judicial
review comes into play only after the passage of a bill, and not before.
Unless enacted into law, any proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law pending
in Congress is not subject to judicial review.

Clearly, any question on the constitutionality of the CAB and the


FAB, without the implementing Bangsamoro Basic Law, is premature and
not ripe for adjudication. Until a Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed by
Congress, it is clear that there is no actual case or controversy that requires
the Court to exercise its power of judicial review over a co-equal branch
of government.

Petitions Dismissed.
Bai Sandra S. A. Sema vs. Comission on Elections

BAI SANDRA S. A. SEMA, Petitioner,


vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DIDAGEN P. DILANGALEN, Respondents.

x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

G.R. No. 178628

PERFECTO F. MARQUEZ, Petitioner,


vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent.

[G.R. No. 177597, July 16, 2008]

BACKGROUND

These are consolidated petitions seek to annul Resolution No. 7902,


dated May 10, 2007, of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
treating Cotabato City as part of the legislative district of the Province of
Shariff Kabunsuan.

The Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution apportioned two


legislative districts for the Province of Maguindanao. The first legislative
district consists of Cotabato City and eight municipalities. Maguindanao
forms part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM),
created under its Organic Act, Republic Act No. 6734 (RA 6734), as
amended by Republic Act No. 9054 (RA 9054). Although under the
Ordinance, Cotabato City forms part of Maguindanao's first legislative
district, it is not part of the ARMM but of Region XII, having voted
against its inclusion in the ARMM in the plebiscite held in November
1989.

On 28 August 2006, the ARMM Regional Assembly, exercising its


power to create provinces under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054,
enacted Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 (MMA Act 201)
creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan composed of the eight
municipalities in the first district of Maguindanao.

It provides that the Municipalities of Barira, Buldon, Datu Odin


Sinsuat, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Parang, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura,
and Upi are separated from the Province of Maguindanao and constituted
into a distinct and independent province, which is thereby created, to be
known as the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan. It also provides that the
corporate existence of said province shall commence upon the
appointment by the Regional Governor or election of the governor and
majority of the regular members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. It
further adds that except as may be provided by national law, the existing
legislative district, which includes Cotabato as a part thereof, shall remain.

Later, three new municipalities were carved out of the original nine
municipalities constituting Shariff Kabunsuan, bringing its total number
of municipalities to 11. Thus, what was left of Maguindanao were the
municipalities constituting its second legislative district. Cotabato City,
although part of Maguindanao's first legislative district, is not part of the
Province of Maguindanao.

The voters of Maguindanao ratified Shariff Kabunsuan's creation in


a plebiscite held on 29 October 2006.

On 6 February 2007, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City


passed Resolution No. 3999 requesting the COMELEC to "clarify the
status of Cotabato City in view of the conversion of the First District of
Maguindanao into a regular province" under MMA Act 201.

The Commission resolved to adopt the recommendation of the Law


Department, that pending the enactment of the appropriate law by
Congress, to maintain the status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff
Kabunsuan in the First Legislative District of Maguindanao. However, in
preparation for the 14 May 2007 elections, the COMELEC promulgated
Resolution No. 7845 stating that Maguindanao's first legislative district is
composed only of Cotabato City because of the enactment of MMA Act
201.

On 10 May 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 7902,


amending Resolution No. 07-0407 by renaming the legislative district in
question as "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly
First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City)."

In one case3, Sema, who was a candidate in the 2007 elections for
Representative of "Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City," prayed for the
nullification of COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 and the exclusion from
canvassing of the votes cast in Cotabato City for that office. Sema

3
G.R. No. 177597, Marquez vs Comelec
contended that Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to one representative in
Congress under Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution and Section
3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.

Thus, it was asserted that the COMELEC acted without or in excess of


its jurisdiction in issuing Resolution No. 7902 which maintained the
status quo in Maguindanao's first legislative district despite the
COMELEC's earlier directive in Resolution No. 7845 designating
Cotabato City as the lone component of Maguindanao's reapportioned
first legislative district.

Sema further claimed that in issuing Resolution No. 7902, the


COMELEC usurped Congress' power to create or reapportion
legislative districts.

The COMELEC, did not address the issue and said that they issued
the resolution in the exercise of its administrative, not quasi-judicial,
power. Furthermore, Sema's prayer for the writ of prohibition became
moot with the proclamation of respondent Didagen P. Dilangalen as
representative of the legislative district of Shariff Kabunsuan Province
with Cotabato City.

According to Dilangalen, COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is


constitutional because it did not apportion a legislative district for Shariff
Kabunsuan or reapportion the legislative districts in Maguindanao but
merely renamed Maguindanao's first legislative district. Furthermore, he
claimed that the COMELEC could not reapportion Maguindanao's first
legislative district to make Cotabato City its sole component unit as the
power to reapportion legislative districts lies exclusively with Congress,
not to mention that Cotabato City does not meet the minimum population
requirement under Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution for the
creation of a legislative district within a city.

The Court heard the parties in oral arguments on whether Section


19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating to the ARMM Regional Assembly
the power to create provinces, is constitutional; and if in the affirmative,
whether a province created under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is
entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives without
need of a national law creating a legislative district for such new province.
ISSUES

1. Whether Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating to the


ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces, cities,
municipalities and barangays, is constitutional; and

2. If in the affirmative, whether a province created by the ARMM


Regional Assembly under MMA Act 201 pursuant to Section 19,
Article VI of RA 9054 is entitled to one representative in the House
of Representatives without need of a national law creating a
legislative district for such province.

3. Whether or not COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is valid for


maintaining the status quo in the first legislative district of
Maguindanao as "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City
[formerly First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City]",
despite the creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan out of such
district (excluding Cotabato City).

SUPREME COURT RULING

1. Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is unconstitutional insofar as it


grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create
provinces and cities;

Under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, Congress delegated to the


ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces, cities,
municipalities and barangays within the ARMM. Congress made the
delegation under its plenary legislative powers because the power to
create local government units is not one of the express legislative powers
granted by the Constitution to regional legislative bodies.

Clearly, a province cannot be created without a legislative district


because it will violate Section 5 (3), Article VI4 of the Constitution as well
as Section 35 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. For the same

4
"Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have
at least one representative"
5
"Any province that may hereafter be created, or any city whose population may hereafter increase
to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to
at least one Member x x x."
reason, a city with a population of 250,000 or more cannot also be created
without a legislative district.

Thus, the power to create a province, or a city with a population of


250,000 or more, requires also the power to create a legislative district.
Even the creation of a city with a population of less than 250,000 involves
the power to create a legislative district because once the city's population
reaches 250,000, the city automatically becomes entitled to one
representative under Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution and
Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. Thus, the power
to create a province or city inherently involves the power to create a
legislative district.

For Congress to delegate validly the power to create a province or


city, it must also validly delegate at the same time the power to create a
legislative district.

2. MMA Act 201 creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan is


void;

Section 5 (1), Article VI6 of the Constitution vests in Congress the


power to increase, through a law, the allowable membership in the House
of Representatives. Section 5 (4) 7 empowers Congress to reapportion
legislative districts.

The power to reapportion legislative districts necessarily includes


the power to create legislative districts out of existing ones. Congress
exercises these powers through a law that Congress itself enacts, and not
through a law that regional or local legislative bodies enact. The allowable
membership of the House of Representatives can be increased, and new
legislative districts of Congress can be created, only through a national
law passed by Congress.

Congress is a national legislature and any increase in its allowable


membership or in its incumbent membership through the creation of
6
The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty
members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned
among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of
their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as
provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and
sectoral parties or organizations
7
Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a
reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section.
legislative districts must be embodied in a national law. Only Congress
can enact such a law. It would be anomalous for regional or local
legislative bodies to create or reapportion legislative districts for a
national legislature like Congress. An inferior legislative body, created by
a superior legislative body, cannot change the membership of the superior
legislative body.

The ARMM Regional Assembly cannot create a province without a


legislative district because the Constitution mandates that every province
shall have a legislative district. Moreover, the ARMM Regional
Assembly cannot enact a law creating a national office like the office of a
district representative of Congress because the legislative powers of the
ARMM Regional Assembly operate only within its territorial jurisdiction
as provided in Section 20, Article X of the Constitution. Thus, we rule that
MMA Act 201, enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly and creating
the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, is void.

3. COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is valid.

The court held that COMELEC Resolution No. 7902, preserving the
geographic and legislative district of the First District of Maguindanao
with Cotabato City, is valid as it merely complies with Section 5 of Article
VI that each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable,
contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory, and each city with a
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall
have at least one representative, and Section 20 of Article X of the
Constitution granting to the autonomous regions, through their organic
acts, legislative powers over other matters as may be authorized by law
for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region.
Cordillera Broad Coalition vs. Commission on Audit

CORDILLERA BROAD COALITION, petitioner,


vs.
COMMISSION ON AUDIT, respondent.
G.R. No. 82217 January 29, 1990
LILIA YARANON and BONA BAUTISTA, assisted by their spouses, BRAULIO D.
YARANON and DEMETRIO D. BAUTISTA, JR., respectively; JAMES BRETT and SINAI C.
HAMADA, petitioners,
vs.
THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT, HON. CATALINO MACARAIG, Executive Secretary,
HON. VICENTE JAYME, Secretary of Finance, HON. GUILLERMO N. CARAGUE, Secretary
of Budget and Management, and HON. ROSALINA S. CAJUCOM, OIC National
Treasurer, respondents.

[G.R. No. 79956, January 29, 1990]

BACKGROUND OF E.O. No.220

In these consolidated petitions, the constitutionality of Executive


Order No. 220, dated July 15, 1987, which created the Cordillera
Administrative Region, is assailed on the primary ground that it pre-empts
the enactment of an organic act by the Congress and the creation of the
autonomous region in the Cordilleras conditional on the approval of the
act through a plebiscite.

In April 1986, just after the EDSA Revolution, Fr. Conrado M.


Balweg, S.V.D., broke off on ideological grounds from the Communist
Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its military arm the New People's Army
(NPA).

After President Aquino was installed into office by People Power,


she advocated a policy of national reconciliation. She called on all
revolutionary forces to a peace dialogue. The CPLA heeded this call of
the President. After preliminary negotiations, President Aquino and some
members of her, Cabinet flew to Mt. Data in the Mountain Province on
September 13, 1986 and signed a ceasefire agreement that signified the
cessation of hostilities.

The parties arrived at an agreement in principle: The Cordillera


people shall not undertake their demands through armed and violent
struggle but by peaceful means, such as political negotiations. The
negotiations shall be a continuing process until the demands of the
Cordillera people shall have been substantially granted.
On March 27, 1987, the acting as Chief Negotiator of the
government, in pursuance of the September 13, 1986 agreement, flew to
the Mansion House, Baguio City, and signed with the Chairman of the
Cordillera panel a joint agreement, which states that they shall work
together in drafting an Executive Order to create a preparatory body that
could perform policy-making and administrative functions leading to a
draft organic act for the Cordilleras, and to have representatives from the
Cordillera panel join the study group of the R.P. Panel in drafting the
Executive Order. Pursuant to the above joint agreement, E.O. 220 was
drafted by a panel of the Philippine government and of the representatives
of the Cordillera people, and was signed by the President into law.

Executive Order No. 220, issued by the President in the exercise of


her legislative powers under Art. XVIII, sec. 6 of the 1987 Constitution,
created the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), which covers the
provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain
Province and the City of Baguio. It was created to accelerate economic
and social growth in the region and to prepare for the establishment of the
autonomous region in the Cordilleras. Its main function is to coordinate
the planning and implementation of programs and services in the region,
particularly, to coordinate with the local government units as well as with
the executive departments of the National Government in the supervision
of field offices and in identifying, planning, monitoring, and accepting
projects and activities in the region.

ISSUE

1. Whether or not the issuance Executive Order No. 220 creating the
Cordillera Administrative Region is unconstitutional because it pre-
empted Congress from its mandated duty of enacting an organic act
which created an autonomous region in the Cordilleras.

2. Whether or not the creation of the CAR contravened the


constitutional guarantee of local autonomy for the provinces (Abra,
Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain Province) and city
(Baguio City) which compose the CAR.
SUPREME COURT RULING
1. No, the issuance of E.O.220 did not pre-empt Congress from its
mandated duty of enacting an organic act which created an
autonomous region in the Cordilleras.
A reading of E.O. No. 220 will easily reveal that what it actually
envisions is the consolidation and coordination of the delivery of services
of line departments and agencies of the National Government in the areas
covered by the administrative region as a step preparatory to the grant of
autonomy to the Cordilleras. It does not create the autonomous region
contemplated in the Constitution. It merely provides for transitory
measures in anticipation of the enactment of an organic act and the
creation of an autonomous region. In short, it prepares the ground for
autonomy. This does not necessarily conflict with the provisions of the
Constitution on autonomous regions.

The President, in 1987 still exercising legislative powers as the first


Congress had not yet convened, saw it fit to provide for some measures to
address the urgent needs of the Cordilleras in the meantime that the
organic act had not yet been passed and the autonomous region created.
These measures are found in E.O. No. 220. The steps taken by the
President may be perceived by petitioners, as unsound, but the Court
cannot inquire into the wisdom of the measures taken by the President.
The Court can only inquire into whether or not the measures violate the
Constitution, but they do not.

The Constitution provides for a basic structure of government in the


autonomous region composed of an elective executive and legislature and
special courts with personal, family and property law jurisdiction. Using
this as a guide, it was found that E.O. No. 220 did not establish an
autonomous regional government. It created a region, covering a specified
area, for administrative purposes with the main objective of coordinating
the planning and implementation of programs and services.

The creation of the CAR for purposes of administrative coordination


is underscored by the mandate of E.O. No. 220 for the President and
appropriate national departments and agencies to make available sources
of funds for priority development programs and projects recommended by
the CAR and the power given to the President to call upon the appropriate
executive departments and agencies of the National Government to assist
the CAR.

Subsequent to the issuance of E.O. No. 220, the Congress, after it


was convened, enacted Republic Act No. 6658 which created the
Cordillera Regional Consultative Commission. The President then
appointed its members. The commission prepared a draft organic act
which became the basis for the deliberations of the Senate and the House
of Representatives. The result was Republic Act No. 6766, the organic act
for the Cordillera autonomous region, which was signed into law on
October 23, 1989. A plebiscite for the approval of the organic act, to be
conducted shortly, shall complete the process outlined in the Constitution.
Events have shown that petitioners' fear that E.O. No. 220 was a
"shortcut" for the creation of the autonomous region in the Cordilleras is
unfounded.

2. No, the creation of the CAR did not contravene the


constitutional guarantee of local autonomy for Abra, Benguet,
Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain Province and Baguio.

It must be clarified that the constitutional guarantee of local


autonomy in the Constitution refers to the administrative autonomy of
local government units or, cast in more technical language, the
decentralization of government authority. Local autonomy is not unique
to the 1987 Constitution as it is guaranteed also under the 1973
Constitution. And while there was no express guarantee under the 1935
Constitution, the Congress enacted the Local Autonomy Act (R.A. No.
2264) and the Decentralization Act (R.A. No. 5185), which ushered the
irreversible march towards further enlargement of local autonomy in the
country.

On the other hand, the creation of autonomous regions in Muslim


Mindanao and the Cordilleras, which is peculiar to the 1987 Constitution,
contemplates the grant of political autonomy and not just administrative
autonomy to these regions. Thus, the provision in the Constitution for an
autonomous regional government with a basic structure consisting of an
executive department and a legislative assembly and special courts with
personal, family and property law jurisdiction in each of the autonomous
regions.

The CAR is a mere transitory coordinating agency that would


prepare the stage for political autonomy for the Cordilleras. It fills in the
resulting gap in the process of transforming a group of adjacent territorial
and political subdivisions already enjoying local or administrative
autonomy into an autonomous region vested with political autonomy.

Petitions Dismissed.