Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri/ Photo by MANILA BULLETIN

Zubiri insists on constitutionality of BOL

Cotabato City-Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri is insisting the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) despite a petition against its implementation in the Autonomous Region om Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said a report by Manila Bulletin yesterday, October 29.

Zubiri’s statement came after a petition by Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan II questioning the legality of Republic Act 11054 or OLBARMM before the Supreme Court (SC), arguing, among others, the authority to abolish and replace the ARMM.

Zubiri author and sponsor of the Bangsaamoro Orgaanic Law (BOL) said that, “It’s unfortunate that the province of Sulu challenged the constitutionality of the BOL but its well within their rights to do so. I truly believe though that the Organic Law that we passed can stand the test of constitutionality after careful scrutiny done by the Senate’s best legal minds and with consultations done with eminent constitutionalists and former Chief Justices and Justices of the Supreme Court.” 

Nevertheless, Zubiri said that he would leave it to the SC to decide the BOL’s constitutionality, but hoped that the High Court will consider it as a solution to the armed conflicts that have long plagued the region.

“We hope that our Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court can look at this Law as an out of the box solution for lasting peace in Mindanao within the framework of our Constitution,” he said as quoted by Manila Bulletin.

“As its principal author and sponsor, I will adhere to the wisdom of the High Court as the final arbiter on whether the BOL will pass the test of Constitutionality once and for all so we can proceed to a Just and Lasting peace for Mindanao and the Philippines,” he added.

The BOL was passed by Congress on July 27, 2018 and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 6 to foster lasting peace in Mindanao. 

In his petition, the Sulu governor said the BOL violates the Constitution which authorized the creation of the ARMM through an organic act. He said Congress has “absolutely no authority to abolish ARMM” and that only through the amendment of the Constitution that the ARMM may be abolished.

Tan also cited that the establishment of a parliamentary government in the proposed BAR a violation of a separation of powers.

The law, he added, does not allow Sulu residents to exercise their right to suffrage with the automatic inclusion of the province to the BAR. With this, Tan also asked the SC to halt the conduct of the plebiscite. (Source: Manila Bulletin)