* Damn right, it is illegal to give parts of your country away to Koranimals. And jihadists are not ‘rebels’- they fight to extract the jiziyah and to make theÂ PhilippinesÂ Islamic:
MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ Supreme Court struck down on Tuesday a territorial deal reached between the government and Muslim rebels earlier this year, calling it illegal, despotic and whimsical.
The government has already said it has given up on the deal after the Supreme Court ordered it halted in August pending a final decision.
Voting 8-7, the country’s highest court allowed a petition by Catholic politicians challenging the legality of the deal that expanded a Muslim homeland in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic nation.
The court, in an 89-page decision, ruled the government’s peace adviser “committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process”.
“It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined,” the court said, describing the government’s approach in striking a deal with the rebels as a “whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic exercise”.
The government was hoping the court would rule the petition as moot because Manila had scrapped the proposed deal and even dissolved its peace panel dealing with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels.
“How can there be a violation when an act has not been consummated?” Agnes Devanadera, the government’s legal counsel, told reporters. “That agreement was not signed.”
Hermogenes Esperon, a retired general and the president’s peace adviser, said the government was not giving up on forging a peace deal with the rebels despite the court ruling.
“There are lots of options,” he told reporters.
The decision comes two months after the court decided to hear the legal challenges raised by some Catholic politicians, stopping Manila from signing the agreement.
Rogue MILF members went on the rampage after the deal was halted and nearly 300 people have been killed since then as hostilities resumed in the unruly south.
“The court has just thrown to the wind four years of our hard negotiations,” Mohaqher Iqbal, the MILF chief peace negotiator, told Reuters. “It proves once again that the constitution is a tool to stifle the Moros’ legitimate aspirations.”
Iqbal said the court decision closed the door on any peace talks to end nearly 40 years of conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people, displaced 2 million and kept one of the most resource-rich regions of the country dirt poor.