CITIZENS led by bloggers Manuel L. Quezon III (The Daily Dose), Ron of the The Marocharim Experiment and FEU Law Professor Edwin Lacierda have taken the unprecedented step of "intervening" in the current impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the House of Representatives.
I support the efforts of these very upright members of Philippine society to demand that the Rule of Law be enforced, especially by those whose job and duty it is to do so. I support their efforts to fortify the impeachment complaint inspite of knowing that the cards are stacked against them in the House. Already, the House totem-factotums seem irked that the de-kahon process of burying one of these Impeachment Complaints might be needlessly prolonged or even discombobulated by an unprecedented wrinkle like this intervention.
Noting that just one day after the present complaint was filed in the House, the Supreme Court on October 14 promulgated its landmark decision (North Cotabato v. GRP) striking down as unconstitutional on multiple grounds a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain that the GRP had initialed and was preparing to sign with the rebel MILF last August 5. The agreement would've created the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE)--a proposal which I am proud to say I was one of the very first to publicly decry and criticize when Gloria first mentioned it nearly a year before BJE made bloody headlines. (See my 2007 post, Ancestral Domain Regime or Bangsamorostan?)
After reading through the Intervention, it really made my blood boil even more than before. I find merit in the prayer to include PGMA's culpability in the matter of the MOA on Ancestral Domain. I agree that the President violated her oath of office and various official duties through inept, irresponsible and ultimately reckless and destructive handling of the Mindanao peace process. Since the government's abandonment of the MOA-AD--patently to win the Supreme Court's favor of a "moot and academic" ruling -- the situation in Mindanao has degenerated into war and destruction. It is the duty of Congress to impeach the President if it determines that the President is responsible for the MOA-AD's ultra vires provisions and conceptions, such as the "associative relationship between the GRP and the BJE" -- which the Supreme Court considered particularly violative of the Constitution not only for transgressing on Philippine territorial and sovereign rights but also for usurping the prerogatives of the Congress and the people themselves in the birthing and ratification of new Constitutions.
The MOA-AD, in the Supreme Court's judgment, stipulated agreement by the Arroyo government, to simultaneously create a Bangsamoro State within the Philippine State and to grant it recognition on par with commonwealth status in preparation for full independence. The setting up of this de-facto "associative relationship" without the consent of the people was ultra vires -- not within the powers -- of the President to negotiate and agree to.
At one point, SolGen Agnes Devanadera had offered the lame defense that the President had not read the MOA-AD in its final form, a "defensive" defense that tries to fudge the idea that the President did not know what was being agreed to. But the referred to "associative relationship" between BJE and the GRP pointed out by the Supreme Court, is a central concept of the new arrangement to be adopted had the MOA been signed. As such, this associative relationship was not a detail that the President would've missed due to changing versions.
Final Complaint in Intervention MOA