THE provincial government of Maguindanao led by Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu has asked the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Mangudadatu cited as one of the bases the overwhelming vote for the ratification of BOL in the recent plebiscite in Mindanao.
Mangudadatu asked the SC to dismiss the petition filed by Sulu provincial government led by Gov. Abdusakur Tan II seeking to nullify the law expanding the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to become a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR).
Mangudadatu informed the SC of the results of the plebiscite in the ARMM, which showed 1,595,731 residents voting to ratify the BOL as against the 246,185 who voted against it.
“The sovereign voice of the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao has clearly spoken. Under the principle of vox populi suprema est lex (the voice of the people should be the supreme law), we implore the Honorable Court to abide by the solemn duty to uphold the clear and unmistakable mandate of the people,” read the 78-page pleading.
Maguindanao had the highest number of votes for the ratification of BOL, with 599,581 “yes” votes against 9,096 “no” votes.
Mangudadatu supported the argument of the government that the BOL does not violate section 18, Article X of the 1987 Constitution, which authorized only one Organic Act to establish the ARMM.
He argued that the Organic Act is a “statute” that may be amended or repealed by Congress upon approval by the people in a plebiscite.
The BOL expands the ARMM - currently composed of Sulu, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan (except Isabela City) - to include six the towns of Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays of Cotabato, and the chartered cities of Isabela and Cotabato subject to the approval of voters.