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Legal Technique and Logic

UST Faculty of Civil Law; 1E

BRITO, John Patrick
REYES, Teoti
Issues on the Constitutionality of Bangsamoro Basic Law:
1. Abolition of Autonomous Region as a Constitutional creation
a. 1987 Constitution (Article 10, Section 1)
The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the
provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays. There shall be autonomous
regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided.
b. BBL (Article 3, Section 2)
Section 2. Core Territory The core territory of the Bangsamoro shall be
composed of:
a. the present geographical area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao; (Emphasis supplied)
b. the Municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in
the province of Lanao del Norte and all other barangays in the Municipalities of
Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit and Midsayap that voted for
inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite;
c. the cities of Cotabato and Isabela; and d. all other contiguous areas where
there is resolution of the local government unit or a petition of at least ten percent
(10%) of the registered voters in the area asking for their inclusion at least two
months prior to the conduct of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and
the process of delimitation of the Bangsamoro.
4 In order to ensure the widest acceptability of the Bangsamoro Basic Law in the
core areas above-mentioned, a popular ratification shall be conducted among all
the Bangsamoro within the areas for their adoption.
Position: BBL is unconstitutional.
Rationale: The ARMM and the Bangsamoro have the same geographical area of
jurisdiction Such encroachment of territory is a manifestation of conflict between the two laws. It
is a well-settled rule that the Constitution must always prevail in case of disharmony due to the
undisputed fact that it is the Supreme law of the land. Furthermore, the ARMM is a
Constitutional creation and thus, cannot be erased by legislation.
2. Creation of a New Political System
a. 1987 Constitution (Article 10, Section 15)

Art 10, Sec, 15: There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao
and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities and
geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural
heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics
within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as
well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.
b. BBL (Article 4, Section 2)
The Bangsamoro Government shall be parliamentary. Its political system is
democratic, allowing its people to freely participate in the political processes
within its territory.(Emphasis supplied)
Position: BBL is unconstitutional
Rationale: Article 10, Section 15 categorically provided the taxonomy of the term
political subdivisions of the Republic. The creation of Autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao
must also be complimentary with the national sovereignty and framework of the Constitution. On
the other hand, Article 4, Section 2 of the BBL provides a new and different territorial and
political entity other than those recognized in Article 10. This is reflective of Bangsamoros
recognition for Self-government, which would definitely result to divided sovereignty, vis--vis
with national sovereignty contemplated on Article 10.
3. Redefining the sovereignty of central government
a. 1987 Constitution (Article 10, Sections 16-17)
The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous
regions to ensure that laws are faithfully executed. (Sec. 16)
All powers, functions, and responsibilities not granted by this Constitution
or by law to the autonomous regions shall be vested in the National
Government. (Sec.17)
b. BBL (Article 5, Section 1)
Reserved powers are matters over which authority and jurisdiction are
retained by the Central Government. The Central Government shall
exercise the following reserved powers x x x
Position: BBL is unconstitutional.
Rationale: The Constitution is the supreme and fundamental law which provides for the
powers of the state. Under the Bangsamoro Basic Law, it reserves to the central
government the exercise of certain so-called "reserved powers," which are referred to as
the powers "retained by the central government." Hence, it can be concluded that the
proposed law diminishes the sovereignty of the Philippine Government by defining the
powers that the central government can retain.
4. Taxes
a. 1987 Constitution (Article 10, Section 17)
All powers, functions, and responsibilities not granted by this Constitution or by
law to the autonomous regions shall be vested in the National Government.
b. BBL (Article 11, Section 10)

Share in Taxes of the Central Government- Central Government taxes, fees,

and charges collected in the Bangsamoro, other than tariff and customs duties
shall be shared as follows:
a. Twenty-five percent (25%) to the Central Government; and
b. Seventy-five percent (75%) to the Bangsamoro, including the shares of the
local government units.
Position: BBL is unconstitutional.
Rationale: Allowing the Bangsamoro Government to keep 75% of the taxes in the
autonomous region unjustly reduces the corresponding shares allocated to the
provinces, municipalities and cities which are not included in the Bangsamoro region.
The reduction in their shares undoubtedly puts other local government units at risk.
5. Transition Commission void
a. 1987 Constitution (Article 7, Section 17)
The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and
offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.
Position: BBL is unconstitutional
Rationale: Public office in the Philippines may only be created by law, i.e., either by an
expressly stated provision under the Constitution or by a law duly enacted by the
Congress. Moreover, such may also be created when the Constitution or a law grants
authority to the President of the Philippines to create a public office. In the absence of
such authorization, the President cannot create a public office. Section 17 of Article 7
states the limit, scope, or extent of the President in creating a public office. In relation to
the aforesaid article, the Transition Commission which drafted the Bangsamoro Basic
law is therefore void. There is no particular provision under the Constitution which allows
it creation. The creation of BBL is for the purpose of completely abolishing the existing
organic act of ARMM. Thus, the drafted law does not exist which consequently denies
the President and the Congress to act on the same.