General & Misc

BBL Hearings focus on its Coverage and Constitutionality

Date: 11 March 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: House of Representatives

The House committees on local government and Muslim Affairs as well as the special committee on peace, reconciliation and unity last week tackled several issues pertaining to the possible areas of coverage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law such as energy, natural resources, and land titling provisions of the bill and the BBL’s constitutionality.

Officials of the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Supreme Court (SC), and the Land Management Bureau (LMB) gave their insights and suggestions on the proposed BBL.

Energy Assistant Secretary Atty. Gerald Erguiza, Jr. said after a thorough review of the BBL, the DOE is not yet ready to integrate the energy matters into the BBL bill because there are so many complex things that still need to be studied.

He said that after such time, the DOE may eventually integrate into the BBL certain responsibilities that would be devolved to the Bangsamoro Region.

Erquiza said all energy matters should be largely regulated by the national and central government. “(Power) transmission lines are matters of national security and therefore should be regulated by the national or central government. National security is a primordial state concern”, he said.

Land Management Bureau Director Atty. Emelyne Talabis, said the LMB supports the passage of the BBL, particularly the decentralization of the cadastral survey to the Bangsamoro government, including the land disposition of public lands, land management, land declassification, and all other aspects of land administration and management.

Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court representative Atty. Leah Enriquez, said the Office of the Court Administrator was instructed by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio to attend the hearing to be updated on the issue of court administration under the BBL.

Rep. Wilter Palma requested all the resource persons to submit their position papers as well as geographical maps and cadastral surveys of the proposed Bangsamoro region.

In another hearing also last week, the committees listened to the views of resource persons on the constitutionality of the BBL.

Retired Justice and Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) Chairman Manuel Lazaro said while the objectives of the creation of the BBL are noble and aimed at the attainment peace, progress and prosperity in Muslim Mindanao, it is the Philconsa’s position that any bill, law, or measure that would be established to achieve these goals must be in consonance within the framework of the Constitution as well as the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines, as articulated in Section 15, Article 10 of the Constitution.

Lazaro said the BBL being deliberated was extracted and copied from House Bill No. 6475, the original bill filed in Congress. He said this was a by-product of various agreements entered into during the past 15 years, beginning during the administration of former President of Fidel Ramos, then continued during former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s time, and passed on to the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.

He said this culminated in a Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) which was questioned in the Supreme Court by five petitions, which were filed by different parties, and seven interventions by several Senators and various associations.

Unfortunately, he said in the case of the North Cotabato decision, the Supreme Court declared the MOA-AD as unconstitutional. However, even as it was declared unconstitutional, some leaders of the country and Muslim Mindanao were able to execute and craft the framework of the BBL, he said.

During the deliberation of the ConCom, Lazaro said Commissioner Jose Nolledo replied that another creation of an autonomous region would require an amendment of the whole Constitution. Under the 1986 Constitution, there are only two autonomous regions being recognized namely, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Hence, these autonomous regions are constitutional creations and cannot be abolished by law. They can only be abolished by an amendment to the constitution, he said.

The committee on local government is chaired by Rep. Pedro Acharon, Jr., while the committee on Muslim Affairs is chaired by Rep. Mauyag Papandayan, Jr. and the special committee on peace, reconciliation and unity is chaired by Rep. Ruby Sahali. Other resource persons invited were representatives of the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), different academic and banking institutions.

Notice: The Publishers of Asean LIP acknowledge the permission granted by the relevant official/ original source for the reproduction of the above/ attached materials. You shall not reproduce the above/ attached materials in whole or in part without the prior written consent of the Publishers and/or the original/ official source. Neither the Publishers nor the official/ original source will be liable for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage caused directly, indirectly or incidentally to errors in or omissions from the above/ attached materials. The Publishers and the official/ original source also disclaim and exclude all liabilities in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in reliance upon the whole or any part of the above/attached materials. The access to, and the use of, Asean LIP and contents herein are subject to the Terms of Use.

Get ASEAN LAW ALERT

Legal updates by e-mail. It's Free.

INDUSTRY UPDATES

DOJ Chief backs PRRD Line on Students may lose Scholarships

MANILA, Feb 21 (PNA) - Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday sided with the President Rodrigo Duterte's recent pronouncement that students who overtly support terrorist organizations may be validly dropped from the rolls of scholarship.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Malaysia-Singapore Water Agreement talks Need More time - Saifuddin

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 (Bernama) - Talks on the 1962 Water Agreement between Singapore and Malaysia are on a positive note and the government is optimistic about it even though more time is needed before it can be finalised, said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

National Cleanliness Policy being drafted to raise Image of Cleaners

CYBERJAYA, Feb 21 (Bernama) - The National Cleanliness Policy will be formulated among others with the aim of improving the image of cleaners so that sweepers and waste collectors are not looked down.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Justice Ministry: US Claims ‘baseless’

The Ministry of Justice on Tuesday reacted to recent “baseless” claims by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh regarding the case of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, urging the embassy to stop spreading misinformation regarding the implementation of the law in Cambodia.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Court adjourns Tony Pua's Appeal against Interim Injunction over RUU355 Video Clip

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 20 (Bernama) - The Federal Court today adjourned the appeal hearing by Damansara Member of Parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee against an interim injunction order over his alleged video clip relating to the tabling of Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016 or RUU355.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

DOJ urged to Act on Murder Raps vs PNP Men in Lawyer's Death

MANILA, Feb 19 (PNA) - A former Cebu City councilor asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) Monday to charge policemen implicated in the killing of his brother, lawyer Noel Archival, five years ago.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Laos, Japan celebrate 20 Years of Legal, Judicial Cooperation

The Lao and Japanese governments have highlighted 20 years of achievement in cooperation to strengthen the legal and judicial sectors in Laos, especially with regard to human resource development.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Sarawak Lawyers wants Government to set up RCI over Judge Allegations

MIRI, Feb 19 (Bernama) - The Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) has proposed to the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) over the allegation of judicial interference in the affidavit made by a sitting Court of Appeal judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer recently.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

MACC meets Judge Hamid Sultan over 63-Page Affidavit

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 18 (Bernama) - The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today met with Court of Appeal judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Baker over his recent 63-page affidavit, filed last week, on allegations of judicial interference.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

CBM headed in Right Direction, Bank Development expected: Experts

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has begun taking the initial steps to stand as an independent body, local financial experts and economists say.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Retired SC Justice Azcuna 'Selfless Government Worker': Palace

MANILA, Feb 15 (PNA) - Malacañang wished retired Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna the best as he celebrates his 80th birthday on Saturday.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Rule of Law followed in Ressa Arrest

MANILA, Feb 15 (PNA) - Malacañang on Friday said the rule of law was followed in the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa for cyberlibel amid criticisms of suppressing press freedom.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Rebuilding ASEAN’s Financial Safety Net

Singapore and Indonesia signed a US$10 billion (K15.23 trillion) bilateral swap agreement last October, allowing the two countries to assist each other during times of financial stress through US dollar loans. The move signalled a willingness by ASEAN countries to play a bigger and more direct role in strengthening the region’s financial stability, but there is still much more to do.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Judiciary lodges Police Report over Allegations in Affidavit

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 15 (Bernama) - The Judiciary has lodged a police report over allegations made against unnamed judges and the institution in the affidavit made by a sitting Court of Appeal judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Blind Woman's Persistence to become Lawyer bears Fruit

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 (Bernama) - ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’, this proverb illustrates the determination and diligence of a visually impaired young woman who has achieved her dream of becoming a lawyer.

Read More