Remember when Jess Dureza proclaimed the GRP-MILF MOA on Ancestral Domain as MOOT n ACADEMIC?
The Supreme Court begs to disagree with the former Presidential Peace Adviser, now Press Secretary Jess Dureza --
Supreme Court News Flash: "It ruled that the present petitions provide an exception to the “moot and academic” principle in view of (1) the grave violation of the Constitution involved; (b) the exceptional character of the situation and paramount public interest; (c) the need to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar and the public; and (d) the fact that the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.Above is from the Supreme Court News Flash on the recently promulgated 8-7 decision in North Cotabato v. Republic of the Philippines, whose substance seems to be as follows:
"In sum, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process, as mandated by EO No. 3, RA 7160, and RA 8371. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority, and amounts to a whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined,” the Court said.
And what of command responsibility?
The Court stressed that the MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific provisions but the very concept underlying them, namely, the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE (Bangsamoro Juridical Entity), are unconstitutional, for the concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence, it said.
The Court noted that inclusion of provisions in the MOA-AD establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is, itself, a violation of the Memorandum of Instructions from the President dated March 1, 2001, addressed to the government peace panel. Moreover, it virtually guarantees that the necessary amendments to the Constitution and the laws will eventually be put in place. Neither the GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is authorized to make such a guarantee. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress, a Constitutional Convention, or the people themselves through the process of initiative, for the only way that the Executive can ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with that process