A member of the House Independent Bloc on Friday welcomed the decision of the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office endorsing to the Office of the Ombudsman the treason case they had filed against the government peace panel for the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
“We welcome this development and thank the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office for finding our case meritorious enough to be endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman for corresponding action,” Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said.
Atienza, Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, former ambassador Jose Romero Jr. and lawyer Jeremy Gatdula filed treason and inciting to sedition raps before the Manila Prosecutors Office last May 28 against the proponents of the Bangsamoro bill.
The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the respondents to file their comments, for case number OMB-C-C-15-0486 (Criminal Case) for treason and inciting to sedition, Atienza said.
Among those named in the complaint were Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles and members of the government peace panel Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Senen Bacani, Yasmin Busran-Lao, Mehol Sadain and consultant Zenaida Brosas.
Former government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen, now associate justice of the Supreme Court, was also included in the complaint.
Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission which crafted the first draft of the proposed BBL, was also included in the charge.
On Friday, Atienza said the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office found the complaint to be sufficient in form and substance and opted to endorse the same to the Office of the Ombudsman for further proceedings.
Citing the criminal complaint filed before senior deputy city prosecutor Eufrosino Sulla at Manila City Hall, Atienza said “The acts of the Respondents, in executing the Framework Agreement and in proposing the BBL, also effectively aided the MILF armed forces to successfully assert their existence as a separate and independent state. Therefore, the Respondents must be held liable for the crime of treason…”
“This strengthens our stand that the original framework which the government peace panel agreed on was detrimental to our peace and national security. But the BLBAR still failed to be passed before Congress adjourned for the campaign season because even this new version was still not acceptable to a great number of Congressmen,” Atienza stressed.
“From the time it was framed, even its Congressional sponsors reformed the original BBL into what is now the Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR), virtually conceding that the BBL and some of its unconstitutional provisions were unacceptable,” he said.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate failed to pass the BBL when it adjourned session last February for the May 9 elections campaign season.