This is clearly unconstitutional and violates proper understanding of international law. It essentially contains the same provisions of the MOA-AD, which the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional (see ruling here). My take on the MOA-AD can be found in the following:
> Of the GRP-MILF MOA
> The MOA and of good intentions
> Mindanao: not peace at any price
> Of self-determination (again)
> ICJ rules on Mindanao
The full text of the Framework Agreement can be seen below.
= = = =
JOINT GPH-MILF DRAFT
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSAMORO
Philippine Government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) herein referred to as the Parties to this Agreement,
HAVE AGREED AND ACKNOWLEDGED AS FOLLOWS:
I. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BANGSAMORO
The Parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable and that the
Bangsamoro shall be established to replace the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The Bangsamoro is the new autonomous political
entity (NPE) referred to in the Decision Points of Principles as of
2. The government of the Bangsamoro shall have a ministerial form.
Parties agree to entrench an electoral system suitable to a ministerial
form of government. The electoral system shall allow democratic
participation, ensure accountability of public officers primarily to
their constituents and encourage formation of genuinely principled
political parties. The electoral system shall be contained in the
Bangsamoro Basic Law to be implemented through legislation enacted by
the Bangsamoro Government and correlated with national laws.
The provinces, cities, municipalities, barangays and geographic areas
within its territory shall be the constituent units of the Bangsamoro.
authority to regulate on its own responsibility the affairs of the
constituent units is guaranteed within the limit of the Bangsamoro Basic
Law. The privileges already enjoyed by the local government units under
existing laws shall not be diminished unless otherwise altered,
modified or reformed for good governance pursuant to the provisions of
the Bangsamoro local government code.
4. The relationship of the Central Government with the Bangsamoro Government shall be asymmetric.
The Parties recognize Bangsamoro identity. Those who at the time of
conquest and colonization were considered natives or original
inhabitants of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent
islands including Palawan, and their descendants whether of mixed or of
full blood shall have the right to identify themselves as Bangsamoro by
ascription or self-ascription.
Spouses and their descendants are
classified as Bangsamoro. The freedom of choice of other Indigenous
peoples shall be respected.
II. BASIC LAW
1. The Bangsamoro shall be governed by a Basic Law.
2. The provisions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law shall be consistent with all agreements of the Parties.
3. The Basic Law shall reflect the Bangsamoro system of life and meet internationally accepted standards of governance.
4. It shall be formulated by the Bangsamoro people and ratified by the qualified voters within its territory.
The Central Government will have reserved powers, the Bangsamoro
Government shall have its exclusive powers, and there will be concurrent
powers shared by the Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government.
Annex on Power Sharing, which includes the principles on
intergovernmental relations, shall form part of this Agreement and guide
the drafting of the Basic Law.
2. The Central Government shall have powers on:
a) Defense and external security
b) Foreign policy
Common market and global trade, provided that the power to enter into
economic agreements already allowed under Republic Act No. 9054 shall be
transferred to the Bangsamoro
d) Coinage and monetary policy
e) Citizenship and naturalization
f) Postal service
This list is without prejudice to additional powers that may be agreed upon by the Parties.
The Parties recognize the need to strengthen the Shari’ah courts and to
expand their jurisdiction over cases. The Bangsamoro shall have
competence over the Shari’ah justice system. The supremacy of Shari’ah
and its application shall only be to Muslims.
4. The Bangsamoro
Basic Law may provide for the power of the Bangsamoro Government to
accredit halal-certifying bodies in the Bangsamoro.
5. The Bangsamoro Basic Law shall provide for justice institutions in the Bangsamoro. This includes:
The competence over the Shari’ah justice system, as well as the formal
institutionalization and operation of its functions, and the expansion
of the jurisdiction of the Shari’ah courts;
b) Measures to improve the workings of local civil courts, when necessary; and
c) Alternative dispute resolution systems.
The customary rights and traditions of indigenous peoples shall be
taken into consideration in the formation of the Bangsamoro’s justice
system. This may include the recognition of indigenous processes as
alternative modes of dispute resolution.
IV. REVENUE GENERATION AND WEALTH SHARING
1. The parties agree that wealth creation (or revenue generation and sourcing) is important for the operation of the Bangsamoro.
Consistent with the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the Bangsamoro will have the
power to create its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees, and
charges, subject to limitations as may be mutually agreed upon by the
Parties. This power shall include the power to determine tax bases and
tax rates, guided by the principles of devolution of power,
equalization, equity, accountability, administrative simplicity,
harmonization, economic efficiency, and fiscal autonomy.
Bangsamoro will have the authority to receive grants and donations from
domestic and foreign sources, and block grants and subsidies from the
Central Government. Subject to acceptable credit worthiness, it shall
also have the authority to contract loans from domestic and foreign
lending institutions, except foreign and domestic loans requiring
sovereign guaranty, whether explicit or implicit, which would require
the approval of the Central Government.
4. The Bangsamoro shall
have a just and equitable share in the revenues generated through the
exploration, development or utilization of natural resources obtaining
in all the areas/territories, land or water, covered by and within the
jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro, in accordance with the formula agreed
upon by the Parties.
5. The Bangsamoro may create its own
auditing body and procedures for accountability over revenues and other
funds generated within or by the region from external sources. This
shall be without prejudice to the power, authority and duty of the
national Commission on Audit to examine, audit and settle all accounts
pertaining to the revenues and the use of funds and property owned and
held in trust by any government instrumentality, including GOCCs.
The details of revenue and wealth sharing arrangements between the
Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government shall be agreed upon by
the Parties. The Annex on Wealth Sharing shall form part of this
7. There shall be an intergovernmental fiscal policy
board composed of representatives of the Bangsamoro and the Central
Government in order to address revenue imbalances and fluctuations in
regional financial needs and revenue-raising capacity. The Board shall
meet at least once in six (6) months to determine necessary fiscal
policy adjustments, subject to the principles of intergovernmental
relations mutually agreed upon by both Parties. Once full fiscal
autonomy has been achieved by the Bangsamoro then it may no longer be
necessary to have a representative from the Central Government to sit in
the Board. Fiscal autonomy shall mean generation and budgeting of the
Bangsamoro’s own sources of revenue, its share of the internal revenue
taxes and block grants and subsidies remitted to it by the central
government or any donor.
8. The Parties agree that sustainable
development is crucial in protecting and improving the quality of life
of the Bangsamoro people. To this end, the Bangsamoro shall develop a
comprehensive framework for sustainable development through the proper
conservation, utilization and development of natural resources. For
efficient coordination and assistance, the Bangsamoro legislative body
shall create, by law, an intergovernmental body composed of
representatives of the Bangsamoro and the Central Government, which
shall ensure the harmonization of environmental and developmental plans,
as well as formulate common environmental objectives.
1. The core territory of the Bangsamoro shall be composed of:
the present geographical area of the ARMM; (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 a
resolution of the local government unit or a petition of at least ten
percent (10%) of the qualified 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 as mentioned in the next paragraph.
2. The Parties
shall work together in order to ensure the widest acceptability of the
Bangsamoro Basic Law as drafted by the Transitory Commission and the
core areas mentioned in the previous paragraph, through a process of
popular ratification among all the Bangsamoro within the areas for their
adoption. An international third party monitoring team shall be present
to ensure that the process is free, fair, credible, legitimate and in
conformity with international standards.
3. Areas which are
contiguous and outside the core territory where there are substantial
populations of the Bangsamoro may opt anytime to be part of the
territory upon petition of at least ten percent (10%) of the residents
and approved by a majority of qualified voters in a plebiscite.
4. The disposition of internal and territorial waters shall be referred to in the Annexes on Wealth and Power Sharing.
Territory refers to the land mass as well as the maritime, terrestrial,
fluvial and alluvial domains, and the aerial domain and the atmospheric
space above it. Governance shall be as agreed upon by the parties in
this agreement and in the sections on wealth and power sharing.
6. The Bangsamoro Basic Law shall recognize the collective democratic rights of the constituents in the Bangsamoro.
VI. BASIC RIGHTS
In addition to basic rights already enjoyed, the following rights of
all citizens residing in the Bangsamoro bind the legislature, executive
and judiciary as directly enforceable law and are guaranteed:
a. Right to life and to inviolability of one’s person and dignity;
b. Right to freedom and expression of religion and beliefs;
c. Right to privacy;
d. Right to freedom of speech;
e. Right to express political opinion and pursue democratically political aspiration;
f. Right to seek constitutional change by peaceful and legitimate means;
g. Right of women to meaningful political participation, and protection from all forms of violence;
h. Right to freely choose one’s place of residence and the inviolability of the home;
Right to equal opportunity and non-discrimination in social and
economic activity and the public service, regardless of class, creed,
disability, gender and ethnicity;
j. Right to establish cultural and religious associations;
k. Right to freedom from religious, ethnic and sectarian harassment; and
l. Right to redress of grievances and due process of law.
Vested property rights shall be recognized and respected. With respect
to the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people arising from any
unjust dispossession of their territorial and proprietary rights,
customary land tenure or their marginalization shall be acknowledged.
Whenever restoration is no longer possible, the Central Government and
the Government of the Bangsamoro shall take effective measures for
adequate reparation collectively beneficial to the Bangsamoro people in
such quality, quantity and status to be determined mutually.
3. Indigenous peoples’ rights shall be respected.
The Central Government shall ensure the protection of the rights of the
Bangsamoro people residing outside the territory of the Bangsamoro and
undertake programs for the rehabilitation and development of their
communities. The Bangsamoro Government may provide assistance to their
communities to enhance their economic, social and cultural development.
VII. TRANSITION AND IMPLEMENTATION
1. The Parties agree to the need for a transition period and the institution of transitional mechanisms.
The Parties agree to adopt and incorporate an Annex on Transitional
Arrangements and Modalities, which forms a part of this Framework
3. There shall be created a Transition Commission through an Executive Order and supported by Congressional Resolutions.
4. The functions of the Transition Commission are as follows:
To work on the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law with provisions
consistent with all agreements entered and that may be entered into by
b. To work on proposals to amend the Philippine
Constitution for the purpose of accommodating and entrenching in the
constitution the agreements of the Parties whenever necessary without
derogating from any prior peace agreements;
c. To coordinate whenever
necessary development programs in Bangsamoro communities in conjunction
with the MILF Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), the Bangsamoro
Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) and other agencies.
The Transition Commission shall be composed of fifteen (15) members all
of whom are Bangsamoro. Seven (7) members shall be selected by the GPH
and eight (8) members, including the Chairman, shall be selected by the
6. The Transition Commission will be independent from the
ARMM and other government agencies. The GPH shall allocate funds and
provide other resources for its effective operation. All other agencies
of government shall support the Transition Commission in the performance
of its tasks and responsibilities until it becomes functus oficio and
cease to exist.
7. The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law submitted by the Transition Commission shall be certified as an urgent bill by the President.
Upon promulgation and ratification of the Basic Law, which provides for
the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the ARMM is
9. All devolved authorities shall be vested in
the Bangsamoro Transition Authority during the interim period. The
ministerial form and Cabinet system of government shall commence once
the Bangsamoro Transition Authority is in place. The Bangsamoro
Transition Authority may reorganize the bureaucracy into institutions of
governance appropriate thereto.
10. The Bangsamoro Transition
Authority shall ensure that the continued functioning of government in
the area of autonomy is exercised pursuant to its mandate under the
Basic Law. The Bangsamoro Transition Authority will be immediately
replaced in 2016 upon the election and assumption of the members of the
Bangsamoro legislative assembly and the formation of the Bangsamoro
11. There will be created a third party monitoring
team to be composed of international bodies, as well as domestic groups
to monitor the implementation of all agreements.
12. At the end
of the transition period, the GPH and MILF Peace Negotiating Panels,
together with the Malaysian Facilitator and the Third Party Monitoring
Team, shall convene a meeting to review, assess or evaluate the
implementation of all agreements and the progress of the transition. An
‘Exit Document’ officially terminating the peace negotiation may be
crafted and signed by both Parties if and only when all agreements have
been fully implemented.
13. The Negotiating Panel of both Parties
shall continue the negotiations until all issues are resolved and all
1. The Parties
agree that normalization is vital to the peace process. It is through
normalization that communities can return to conditions where they can
achieve their desired quality of life, which includes the pursuit of
sustainable livelihoods and political participation within a peaceful
2. The aim of normalization is to ensure
human security in the Bangsamoro. Normalization helps build a society
that is committed to basic human rights, where individuals are free from
fear of violence or crime and where long-held traditions and value
continue to be honored. Human insecurity embraces a wide range of issues
that would include violation of human and civil rights, social and
political injustice and impunity.
3. As a matter of principle, it
is essential that policing structure and arrangement are such that the
police service is professional and free from partisan political control.
The police system shall be civilian in character so that it is
effective and efficient in law enforcement, fair and impartial as well
as accountable under the law for its action, and responsible both to the
Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government, and to the
communities it serves.
4. An independent commission shall be
organized by the Parties to recommend appropriate policing within the
area. The commission shall be composed of representatives from the
parties and may invite local and international experts on law
enforcement to assist the commission in its work.
5. The MILF shall undertake a graduated program for decommissioning of its forces so that they are put beyond use.
In a phased and gradual manner, all law enforcement functions shall be
transferred from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to the police
force for the Bangsamoro.
The Parties agree to continue
negotiations on the form, functions and relationship of the police force
of the Bangsamoro taking into consideration the results of the
independent review process mentioned in paragraph 4.
7. The Joint
Coordinating Committees on Cessation of Hostilities (JCCCH) as well as
the Ad hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) with the participation of the
International Monitoring Team (IMT) shall continue to monitor the
ceasefire agreement until the full decommissioning of the MILF forces.
These existing coordinating mechanisms shall be the basis for the
creation of a Joint Normalization Committee (JNC) to ensure the
coordination between the Government and remaining MILF forces, and
through which MILF shall assist in maintaining peace and order in the
area of the Bangsamoro until decommissioning shall have been fully
8. Both Parties commit to work in partnership for the
reduction and control of firearms in the area and the disbandment of
private armies and other armed groups.
9. The details of the
normalization process and timetables for decommissioning shall be in an
Annex on Normalization and shall form part of this Agreement.
The Parties agree to intensify development efforts for rehabilitation,
reconstruction and development of the Bangsamoro, and institute programs
to address the needs of MILF combatants, internally displaced persons,
and poverty-stricken communities.
11. The Parties recognize the
need to attract multi-donor country support, assistance and pledges to
the normalization process. For this purpose, a Trust Fund shall be
established through which urgent support, recurrent and investment
budget cost will be released with efficiency, transparency and
accountability. The Parties agree to adopt criteria for eligible
financing schemes, such as, priority areas of capacity building,
institutional strengthening, impact programs to address imbalances in
development and infrastructures, and economic facilitation for return to
normal life affecting combatant and non-combatant elements of the MILF,
indigenous peoples, women, children, and internally displaced persons.
The Parties agree to work out a program for transitional justice to
address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, correct
historical injustices, and address human rights violations.
1. This Agreement shall not be implemented unilaterally.
The Parties commit to work further on the details of the Framework
Agreement in the context of this document and complete a comprehensive
agreement by the end of the year.