SC to hear next month arguments on petitions questioning the legality of BOL

Manila, Philippines — In a session yesterday, the Supreme Court (SC) has set the oral arguments on a case questioning the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL)– but only after the first part of the BOL plebiscite is over, said a report today by Philstar.

The petitions were filed by the provincial government of Sulu, led by Gov. Abdusakur Tan II, and the Philippine Constitutional Association (Philconsa). They seek to stop the BOL implementation as provided under Republic Act 11054.

The SC agreed to hear the arguments in February, after the holding of the first phase of the plebiscite on Jan. 21, an insider told Philstar but requested anonymity due to lack of authority.

However, the magistrates have yet to decide on the exact date. The second phase of the plebiscite is on Feb. 6, the Philstar report also said.

 “The court does not see the need to immediately hear the Bangsamoro case even with the plebiscite set on Jan. 21,” the source said.

 “The Court may still issue a TRO on the implementation of the law as sought in the petitions even after the plebiscite, if warranted,” the source clarified.

The two petitions raised the same arguments against the BOL.

According to the Philstar report, Solicitor General Jose Calida has filed his comment on the petition of Tan and is expected to file comment on the Philconsa petition this week.

Once ratified, the BOL will put in place a new political entity called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) or in short Bangsamoro. 

Meanwhile, Malacañang has announced that President Duterte Duterte will come to Cotabato City to rally support for the BOL in a public assembly at the ORG Complex on Friday. 

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo is optimistic that Duterte would be able to persuade Cotabato residents to support the BOL. 

“The President’s voice is a powerful influencing voice,” Panelo said at a press briefing yesterday.