Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Congressman Biazon Files Resolution to Scrutinize GRP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement

Muntinlupa City Congressman Ruffy Biazon yesterday filed House Resolution No. 711, calling on the House Committee on National Defense and Security and House Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the proposed GRP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).

Citing the controversy sparked by the alleged “non-consultation among the stakeholders and the people concerned and non-transparency of the draft Memorandum of Agreement” which was the basis for a petition for TRO filed in the Supreme Court, Congressman Biazon called on the House of Representatives to conduct the inquiry.

In the resolution, the Vice-Chair of the Committee on National Defense said the inquiry should be done so that the House will be “informed of the basis of the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, and to determine legislative measures that need to be undertaken as proposed in the said agreement”.

“The MOA itself says that there may be a need to amend the existing legal framework of the Philippines in order to put into effect the provisions of this MOA and the eventual Final Peace Agreement. Who is supposed to do the amendments? Isn’t that the job of Congress? So it is just proper that Congress should scrutinize this MOA”, Biazon explained.

The stakeholders who claimed to have been left out of matters that will have a great effect on their lives are also entitled to be represented in crafting government policies. “The Congress is People’s Representation as prescribed by the Constitution. The People have a right to be heard and to ask questions through Congress”, the congressman averred.

Told that Executive Branch officials yesterday met with some members of the House representing the affected areas in a closed door meeting, Biazon replied, “That is good. But will they be able to pass legislation by themselves? Are we not putting on the line the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, which all of us are sworn to preserve and defend? Whatever happens in any part of the country affects the whole country. I think if the Executive Branch will do some explaining, they should do it before the entire Congress.”

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