PHILCONSA: Perennial anti-peace bearer

The Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) has consistently adopted an anti-peace stance since the GPH-MILF Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in 2008 up to the current Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

This is mind-boggling! Firstly, why it is pursuing this negativist approach? Secondly, the close association of many of the petitioners to the Marcoses. Is this incidental or by design? And thirdly, why it poorly fails to appreciate the Constitution as a political document that is dynamic, living, and flexible, and which is made not only to put order to society but a key to solve people’s problem.

Mind the following circumstances:  

Through its incumbent chairman, Manuel Lazaro, Philconsa has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to declare the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) as "unconstitutional, null and void.” It also asked the High Court to issue a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the law, which creates the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in place of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Who is Manuel M. Lazaro? He is a Marcos loyalist. It is said that his loyalty to President Marcos “is legendary.”  Known popularly as Justice Lolong, the lawyer once confided to Sunday Times Magazine that loyalty is one of the values he learned from his father, the former Ilocos Norte Governor Primo Lazaro.

In 2015, Philconsa also filed a 24-page petition before the Court against the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the basis of the previously proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law. The Supreme Court subsequently dismissed the case as premature.

Incidental or by design, the lead petitioner, who is Philconsa president then, was Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who is the first cousin of former Senator Bongbong Marcos. One of the other petitioners was former senator Francisco Tatad, who is also Marcos loyalist. Tatad was the secretary of information during the heydays of Martial Law.

In May, 2015, a sedition and treason raps were filed by Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza and Abakada Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz against the government and MILF peace negotiators for signing the deal that eventually resulted in the crafting of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which seeks to create a new Bangsamoro entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Again, incidental or by design, Jonathan dela Cruz is right hand man of the Marcoses especially former Senator Bongbong Marcos. Again, the rap was dismissed by the Supreme Court for lack of merit.

It is up to our readers to draw their own conclusion!