Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Art Panganiban says the Supreme Court should rule fully on the MOA-AD controversy even if the President has said the GRP would not sign it in any form and has even disbanded the Peace Panel that was ready to sign it on August 5, 2008 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. He cites the exceptions to the rule of "moot and academic" that the Court itself used when it struck down major portions of PP 1017 in 2006:
ART PANGANIBAN: “...first, when there is a grave violation of the Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved; third, when the constitutional issue raised requires (the) formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar and the public; and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.”Another Supreme Court Justice turned pundit, Isagani A. Cruz (of anti-IPRA fame) chimes in with
ISAGANI A. CRUZ: "...the possibility of the Philippines being sued for disregard of the MOA is an ignorant fear. A state may be sued only with its consent before the International Court of Justice under the “optional jurisdiction” clause in Art. 36 of its Statute. A municipal court in the Philippines has more compulsory jurisdiction under our own laws than the highest tribunal in the world with its diplomatic inhibitions.Someone who I believe will become a Justice of the Supreme Court someday is also a writer of weekly commentaries. Raul Pangalangan wags his finger at War Mongering Civilians but comes up with a gem of a distinction between "autonomy" and the BJE (Bangsamoro Juridical Entity):
To give foreign affairs and finance powers to the new “juridical entity” goes way beyond the settled meaning of “autonomy” and sounds too much like sovereignty, and gives it to a group which, by its recent actuations, seems unworthy of such immense trust.Prof. Pangalangan (he was formerly Dean of the UP Law School) comes up with non-Constitutional legal constraints on the BJE deal:
One, the rule of non-use of force against the territorial integrity of states under the famous Article 2.4 of the UN Charter.One may ask what would happen if all the countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference were to recognize the breakaway Republic of Bangsamorostan?
Two, the principle of “uti possidetis” [as you possess], which preserves the territorial boundaries inherited from the colonizers.
Three, the rule of non-intervention in our “reserve domain” under Article 2.7 of the UN Charter, under which the southern rebellion remains presumptively an internal matter for the Philippines.
These three doctrines explain why, so far, only the former KGB officer Vladimir Putin of Russia and the Sandinista Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua have recognized the Georgia breakaways. It’s because the rest of the world holds sacrosanct the principle of territorial integrity.
Founding Father Joaquin Bernas, SJ, seems to defend the opaquenss of the Arroyo administration in Peace Negotiations over the MOA-AD (I think because he advised the Palace to go ahead with it)--
But what of transparency? The necessity or even wisdom of making the contents of these phases public may differ from stage to stage. It has been pointed out, for instance, that the successful negotiations achieved by South Africa’s Mandela began with secret talks with De Klerk. Even with our constitutional right to information, different phases will require different degrees of publicity.One thing that is remarkably clear: PUBLIC OPINION is still a mighty strong force in the Philippines, and while it may be fickle and uncontrollable, there seem to be issues upon which, it cannot be denied.