Tuesday, August 5, 2008

SC Issues TRO On Questionable MILF-GOP MOA

The signing today of the questionable Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was stopped albeit temporarily after the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order as petitioned by various Mindanao government officials like Governor Sacdalan of Cotabato.

An en banc session of the SC yesterday ordered the hearing of the oral arguments of the petitioners on August 15. It also ordered the Solicitor General to submit a copy of the MOA to the SC by August 8.

Aside from the inclusion of additional Mindanao areas in the autonomous region, the the MOA would have given the MILF immense power and control over the covered areas' banking, legal system, civil service and even the internal security force. The agreement may have been the government's way of solving the peace crisis in some parts of Mindanao but there are Mindanao officials who believe this is a sell-out.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said this was a setback in the peace process but Malacanang press secretary Jesus Dureza said they submit to the court's discretion.

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