Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Memorandum of Disagreement

Last week was a hectic one, with the midterms and all. So I missed the chance of pointing out my gripes on the Memorandum of Agreement between the government and MILF. Good thing the Supreme Court issued a TRO, at least to give everyone the chance to assess what the MOA was all about.

When the issue of the MOA first came out, I had a very strong opinion about it. To understand the issues better, I wanted to get hold of a copy of the MOA but was not able to (I also wanted to read the MOA ASAP because I had an upcoming Political Law review midterm, and I had a hunch that the issue will come out in the exam. True enough, there was a question about the MOA and the executive privilege of withholding such from the public. Then it hit me, kaya pala walang umiikot na kopya ng MOA, kasi nag-invoke na naman ng executive privilege ang palasyo.)

Alas, before I had my say on the matter, the issue had already been fully threshed out in the papers. Three of my most admired jurists - Fr. Joaquin Bernas, Justice Isagani Cruz and Dean Raul Pangalangan - already voiced out their thoughts on the issue. Whatever my concerns when I first learned about it were already voiced by the three men so eloquently (and exponentially more intelligently than what I would have written).

Needless to say, like all Miss Universe candidates, we all want lasting peace. It's been long overdue in the province of Mindanao. But a rushed MOA full of infirmities cannot be the answer to the conflict-ridden region. Every provision must stand the mettle of the Constitution. It is the fundamental law of the land, after all. This should not be taken by our Muslim brethren as an affront to them. They may belong to the Moro Nation, but they should not forget that they are also part of the the Filipino Nation.

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