SC lauded for not issuing TRO on BOL

he Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has lauded the Supreme Court (SC) for not issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) slated on January 21 and February 6.

Speaking in behalf of the MILF, Mohammad Ameen, chairperson of the Front’s Secretariat, hailed the decision as historic and is an indication that the SC is still a bastion of honorable men and women who upholds the law in favor of what is right, lawful, and good for the people.

The decision, he said, is also a manifestation that the petitioners’ arguments do not stand on solid and valid grounds that warrant the calling off of the plebiscite.

Without this TRO, the plebiscite will proceed smoothly and orderly on the dates aforementioned in order to create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The MILF is one of the respondents in both the petitions filed by Sulu Governor Sakur “Toto” Tan 11 and Manuel Lazaro of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa). But the MILF decided not to take part in the proceeding, citing its being a revolutionary organization to date.  

Both Tan and the Philconsa said the BOL violates Sections 18 and 19 of Article 10 of the 1987 Constitution, which allows the enactment of only one organic act for Muslim Mindanao.

But the petitioners miserably failed to appreciate that some of the best lawyers are members of the 17th Congress who passed the BOL after it passed through the proverbial eye of the needle. Does it mean that the petitioners considered themselves as more knowledgeable of law than former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Congressman Rodolfo Farinas, and Senators Koko Pimentel, Franklin Drilon, Sonny Angara, and Richard Gordon, among others?

The danger for politicians who are bitterly opposing the BOL, such as Sakur Tan of Sulu and Cynthia Sayadi-Guiani of Cotabato City is that if it gets ratified in their respective turfs, their chance of winning for governor and city mayor, respectively, is seriously affected. They failed to recognize that the BOL is an extremely popular law and is sure to be ratified. In the recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) from December 5-8, Maguindanao registered 97% in favor of the BOL, Tawi-Tawi, 95%, Lanao del Sur, 94, Basilan, (excluding Isabela City) 82%, and Sulu, despite the stiff opposition of the Tans, 76%.

The BOL is clearly for the benefits of the people and very inclusive. Therefore, we seriously question the motives of these politicians in opposing the BOL. There is still time for them to change their position.