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Bangsamoro sub-state and elusive peace in S Philippines (3)

(Xinhua)

13:35, August 18, 2011

Leonen and other government officials have admitted that to create a sub-state in Mindnao is still a long and tedious process.

Harry Roque, a law professor at the University of the Philippines, and former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., a Christian Mindanao leader, have said that the creation of a sub-state would likely require an amendment to the Philippine Constitution.

Former Cotabato Governor Emmanuel Pinol has said that he would ask the Supreme Court to determine if it is legal for the government to agree to discuss a peace agreement within the context and spirit of the MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain), which the high court declared as unconstitutional in October 2008.

Pinol, former senator and now Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, Sen. Franklin Drilon, Mayor Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga City and Rep. Isabelle Climaco of Zamboanga City were co- petitioners against the MOA-AD.

According to Pinol, the proposed sub-state is no different from the juridical entity that the MILF wanted established under the MOA-AD that the high court declared as "contrary to law and the Constitution."

"(Neither) the President nor the MILF can demand revision of the Constitution prior to the signing of a peace agreement," Pinol said.

Pinol also noted that while the MILF claimed that it was abandoning its previous demand to create a separate Islamic state in Mindanao, it now wants to have its own Supreme Court and its own Constitution based on the Islamic way of life.

Former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari also said that the MILF and the government cannot sign another agreement because there is already an existing one signed with the MNLF in l996.

In an interview with a major Manila daily, Misuari, who was the first ARMM governor, said that there could be no two agreements covering the same people and the same territory.

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