• High Court gives JBC a Sharia consultant


    THE Supreme Court has approved the plea to have a Sharia consultant for the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

    In a resolution, the court en banc granted the letter of Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen for the appointment of a Jurisconsult in Islamic Law.

    The court also ordered Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez to make the recommendation within 30 days.

    There are only two high ranking Muslim magistrates in the Philippines: Court of Appeals Justices Japar Dimaampao and Hakim Abdulwahid.

    Leonen had asked Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and his colleagues to pave the way for the appointment of a consultant to the JBC.

    In a four-page letter addressed to Sereno and to other justices of the Court, Leonen stressed the importance of appointing a consultant to the JBC and a jurisconsult in Islamic Law.

    “I have been informed that despite the presence of so many qualified experts on Shari’a Law, the court still does not have a Shari’a consultant for the JBC nor a jurisconsult. May I respectfully suggest that the Secretariat of the JBC and the Office of the Court Administrator [OCA] be tasked immediately to look into this matter,” the letter reads.

    Leonen cited provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9054 relating to the appointment of a consultant by the Regional Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the JBC and the enabling of the Jurisconsult.

    He explained that Article VIII of RA 9054 allows the President of the Philippines to “appoint a qualified person as a consultant to the [JBC] recommended by the Regional Governor in consultation with concerned sectors of the autonomous region.”

    The council has two consultants—Senior Justices Antonio Carpio and Presbitero Velasco Jr.

    Jomar Canlas


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