The Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) on Monday said the recently signed Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) is unconstitutional.


Retired Supreme Court (SC) Justice Manuel Lazaro, chairman of the Philconsa, said the agreement may also cause chaos and instability with treacherous fallouts rather bring peace and prosperity over the entire Mindanao region.


Lazaro, in a dialogue with members of the House of Representatives, said the Executive branch has no power to bind Congress and judicial departments unless the Executive believes that the Legislative and Supreme Court are its “lackeys.”


He said the Government Peace Panel (GPP) has agreed on the terms that “the Bangsamaro shall establish and two parties shall ensure the establishment of a new Bangsamoro political entity.”


Lazaro also said the five annexes of CAB are only agreements of intention, “[The] five annexes provide that Congress should pass a Bangsamoro Basic Law and that it would amend the Constitution,” he said.


According to Lazaro the relationship of the central government and the proposed Bangsamoro government is “asymmetric” for he believed “it is nothing and everything.”


He added that the gradual transfer of all law-enforcement functions from the Armed Force of the Philippines to the police force of the Bangsamoro “violates provisions of the constitution” since it requires amending the present charter itself.


“This is putting the cart before the horse. We cannot have two armed forces. This is no-no. This is risking the security territory and people outside Bangsamoro and planting the seeds of rebellion, secession,” Lazaro said.


He said the six Lanao del Norte municipalities and 39 North Cotabato barangays have voted for inclusion the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the plebiscites held under the 2001 ARMM expansion act but their respective provinces didn’t have enough inclusion votes.


Lazaro added the CAB is somehow a coercive process since Cotabato and Isabela Cities both rejected inclusion in 2001, yet are included in the present Bangsamoro region.


Meanwhile, the proposed measure creating the Bangsamoro Region is expected to be filed anytime at the House of Representatives.


According to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. the law that the Bangasamoro Basic Law will be prioritized at the lower chamber.


Belmonte also committed the approval of the proposed law on the establishment of the Bangsamoro juridical entity as they will immediately calendar this to first reading to give members of different committees to scrutinize the controversial measure.


According to Belmonte the Bangsamoro Basic Law will be passed by 2015. -- Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz/Business Mirror