(This is the first instalment of Sultan Firdausi I. V. Abbas’ “in his opposition to the “amended” Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Senate Committee of Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr .)
By DR. FIRDAUSI I.Y. ABBAS, Ph. D.
Sultan of Lanao
SULTAN Firdausi I.Y. Abbas, President of the
Muslim Bar Association of the Philippines, Inc.
(MUSBARAP) with Secretary Leila M. De Lima,
Secretary of Justice pledging the support of the
MUSBARAP to her senatorial aspiration.
THE amended Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Senate Committee of Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is no better than the approved version of the House of Representatives, Ad Hoc Committee. It purported to improve the BBL but failed. It did not even adhere to the basic principle that a constitution (the BBL will be the constitution for the new autonomous region if approved) must be brief, clear and simple.
To start with, it has the same difficult highfalutin words and vague phrases of Ascription, Self-Ascription, Asymmetric Relationship (Article Vl, Sec. 23), Parity of Esteem (Sec. 24) and Transitional Justice (Article Vlll, Sec.68). What were those people thinking of!
It erroneously and ignorantly use ethnic words and phrase. It speaks of fusaka inged in reference to the alleged indigenous peoples. Firstly, the word fusaka is mispelled. It is pusaka. Second, this word is in the languages of the Maranaws and the Maguindanaons and not in any of the dialects of the indigenous tribes.
There is no letter “f” in the Maranaw and Maguindanao languages. Third, its use as a phrase, pusaka inged (Sec. 69) is terribly incorrect. Inged is another Maranaw and Maguindanao word which means home,territory or land. A pusaka means an heirloom which is a movable object that has been in the family or community for years and decades. Inged cannot be a pusaka. Another word used is tarib(Sec. 69) which is suppose to mean traditions. This again is erroneous. Tradition in the Maranaw and Maguindanaon languages is taritib. It reflects the ignorance of the Marcos consultants of the Moro languages.
Article Xl, Sec. 9 repeats the same blasphemous provision in the previous version, Article X, Sec. 4. It also provides:
“The following are the sources of Shariah Law among others: Al-Quran (the Koran); Al-Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition): Al-Qiyas (Analogy) and Al-Ijima (Consensus).” The phrase among others means that there other maybe other sources of Shariah.
There can be no other source of understanding Islamic law other than those mentioned above. Futhermore Sunna must be interpreted as the Traditions of the Prophet.
Mohammed and not simply as Prophetic Tradition because there are many prophets in Islam and Ijma (not Ijima) is the third source of understanding Shariah before Qiyas.
The Muslim Bar has time and again brought to the attention of the authorities that the Shariah Courts must be intensively reviewed. There must be an accounting of the cases filed and the cases resolved. The procedure in the said courts are summary but cases have been pending for as long as five years and even longer.
It has also been proposed that those who pass the Shari’ah Bar Examinations must be eligible only to practice before the Shari’ah courts. The Shari’ah Circuit and District Judges and the Shariah Appellate Court Justice must be occupied by regular members of the Philippine Bar who have either obtained degrees in Shari’ah from the middle-east or from any other Muslim country or undergone at least a one year course or seminar in Islamic law as the seminars offered by the Department of Muslim Affairs before.
Procedural law is very vital in trials. Knowledge of procedure is what enables the judge to timely adjudicate cases and establish decorum in court. A four year course in Shariah does not provide the judge who is a Shariah lawyer that ability. Shariah lawyers should be used as academicians to teach in the Shari’ah Academy proposed. They can also practice law in the Shari’ah courts.
(To be continued)
(To be continued)
(The writer is the President of the Muslim Bar Association of the Philippines, Inc., Chairman of the Bangsa Moro Party and Chairman of the United Filipino Movement .)