With BBL: Beheadings, floggings and treating women as second-class citizens

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I am not exaggerating at all.

BM Basic Law (BBL) bill champion congressman Rufus Rodriguez claims that his committee has made some 60 amendments to the draft BBL law.

That’s a smokescreen. Many of the original bill’s essential provisions haven’t been touched. These provisions will lead to the creation of a sub-state under the uncontested control by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which would strengthen it in the coming years and then call for the area’s separation, most probably incorporation into the Federation of Malaysia.

I was particularly shocked that not one word, not one letter of the draft bill that the MILF proposed has been changed with regard to the justice system that would prevail in the BM territory. Article X of the bill, both in its original and draft form, is even entitled “Bangsamoro Justice System.”


Perhaps we have been so smug in thinking that ours, after all, is a dominantly Christian nation that it is inconceivable for Islamic law to be adopted as the supreme law – thanks to a dominantly Christian Congress – in Muslim Mindanao.

Perhaps we don’t really care about our Muslim brothers since the draft law specifies that Shari’ah law (Islamic Law) will be supreme only for Muslims. But aren’t Muslims in Mindanao also Filipino citizens of a Republic entitled to a secular, modern system of justice?

If a poor boy was born Muslim, and he got hungry so that he stole bread from the local bakery, would we allow his hand to be cut off as due punishment for theft called for under Shari’ah law? If in a fit of anger, a Muslim shoots a neighbor dead, would we allow a Shari’ah court to behead him in public, as is routinely done in Saudi Arabia under Islamic law?

Perhaps we’ve been so confident that our two main negotiators with the MILF are educated women that, we thought, knew that under Shari’ah law, women are basically second-class citizens vested with fewer rights than men have.

Under Shari’ah law: Left, public beheading of a Sri Lankan OFW in Saudi Arabia for homicide in 2013; right, first 50 of 1,000 lashes sentenced a month ago on a Saudi blogger for “ridiculing religious figures.”

Under Shari’ah law: Left, public beheading of a Sri Lankan OFW in Saudi Arabia for homicide in 2013; right, first 50 of 1,000 lashes sentenced a month ago on a Saudi blogger for “ridiculing religious figures.”

This is an indisputable fact agreed upon both by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars.

The explanation for this is that Islam had never gone through the European, especially German, reform movements that removed much of the ancient, misogynist features of Christianity. Moreover, democracy, which emerged in non-Muslim countries only in the 18th century as the preferred form of government, had adopted secular frameworks of justice, even if this had evolved out of Judeo-Christian traditions.

If a Muslim woman was raped, would our chief negotiator Miriam Ferrer and her superior, Teresita Deles, agree that she’d have to have four witnesses to the actual act, as Shari’a specifies, because of its assumption that the word of one man (the perpetrator who would deny the crime) is superior to the word of one woman, so that she needs four other people to corroborate her claim?

Fundamentalist
If the Bangsamoro Parliament adopted a more fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law, would Deles and Ferrer agree that the rape victim was at fault and should be flogged 100 times?

This is not speculation. In Saudi Arabia, which totally adopts Shari’ah, a court in 2007 sentenced a gang-rape victim to six months’ imprisonment and 200 lashes. Women enjoy no rights in Saudi courts. They are not allowed to speak for themselves and must be represented by a male relative or a lawyer. According to Saudi official policy, the purpose of educating a girl is to bring her up in a proper Islamic way so as to perform her duties in life – which are those of being an ideal and successful housewife and a good mother.

Why would we allow a religious form of justice – essentially a medieval one created first by a desert tribe and later by feudal (Caliphate) empires – be supreme for one sector of our Republic?

The dishonesty of Deles and Ferrer has been demonstrated by their claims that Shari’ah is already practiced in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

This is a blatant lie. Republic Act No. 6734 of 1989, which set up the ARMM, merely established Shari’ah Appellate Courts as the higher court after the Shari’ah District and Circuit courts, which were established in 1977 under Presidential Decree 1083, also called the Code of Muslim Personal Laws.

As the law’s title suggests, the Code covers what is called in our secular laws as civil laws – those on marriage, disposition of estates, legitimacy of children, and paternity.

As the decree explains, it is an attempt to incorporate “National Cultural Communities’… customs, traditions and beliefs.” The decree does not even authorize broad implementation of Shari’ah but specifies in detail how civil disputes are to be settled.

The very first section – and, therefore, the law’s overarching principle – of the 1989 ARMM law’s Article IX, on “Administration of Justice” even reads as follows:

“The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and other courts established by law shall continue to exercise their judicial powers as provided by the Constitution and national Laws.”

In its Section 6, the law emphasizes: Nothing herein contained shall affect the original and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in the Constitution.

Contrast that to the BBL bill’s provisions, which are even entitled “Bangsamoro Justice System,” with the very first section so different from the relevant provision in the ARMM law:

“Section 1. Justice System in the Bangsamoro – The justice system in the Bangsamoro shall consist of Shari’ah law, which shall have supremacy and application over Muslims only… For Muslims, the justice system in the Bangsamoro shall give primary consideration to Shari’ah…” (Emphasis mine).

Supreme Court not even mentioned
In fact, nowhere in the BBL bill is found any mention of our Supreme Court, which, among other powers, supervises the judicial system.

The BBL bill, in fact, creates its own “Supreme Court” called the Shari’ah High Court. Who appoints its members? The Shari’ah Judicial and Bar Council. Who appoints the members of this council? The Chief Minister.

The existing justice system in ARMM calls for the implementation, not of the Shari’ah law itself, but only of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, derived from Shari’ah and involving only civil laws.

In contrast, the BBL bill’s Article X, Section 2, authorizes the “Bangsamoro Parliament” to enact laws “pertaining to persons and family relations, and other civil law matters, commercial law, criminal law, including the definition of crimes and prescription of penalties thereof.” That obviously means it can specify beheadings, stonings, flogging, amputation of hands as penalties for violations of criminal law as specified by the BM Parliament. It can even do this in one swoop by enacting a Bangsamoro Penal Code, specifying penalties for whatever crime the Parliament can think of.

Cardinal Tagle and the princes of the Catholic Church in the Philippines should turn green with envy. The term Shari’ah, in fact, is Arabic for “Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet.”

The BBL bill, if or when enacted into law, will be the first ever law of the land that specifies religious text as the basis of laws to govern a part of Philippine territory. Section 4 of the BBL bill reads:

“Sources of Shari’ah Law: The following are the sources of Shari’ah law, among others:

a. Al-Qur’an (The Koran);
b. Al-Sunnah (Prophetic traditions);
c. Al-Ijima (Consensus); and
d. Al-Qiyas (Analogy)”

That, of course, is clearly a violation of the Republic’s basic principle of the separation of state and church. Not even the Bible is mentioned in the Constitution and the Deity it refers to is a generic one, “Almighty God,’ not Allah nor Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Have the BBL bill’s mastermind President Aquino and his lackey congressman Rodriguez lost their minds? Only a dozen of dominantly Muslim countries in the world — notably Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq — adopt Shari’ah as basis for both their civil and criminal laws.

Yet, are we now moving toward the same path to allow a part of our territory to be under Shari’ah law?

In recent history, Muslim countries in which secular governments fell have been taken over by Islamic fundamentalists. The most recent and notable examples are Afghanistan, where the Taliban rampaged after the fall of the Soviet-backed secular government, and Iraq, where the ISIS has gone on a frenzy of beheadings and massacres.

With the BBL, we are, in effect, dismantling the old ARMM secular government and replacing it with one controlled by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Are we to believe, as Aquino and his negotiators are trying to lead us to do, that the word “Islamic” there doesn’t really mean anything?

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28 Comments

  1. Inggit lang yan.

    Ngkpera na ang ARMM sila wala p. Kaya this time lubos lubosin na nila. Silang MILF ang leaders, pera ng Pinas gastusin, promoted to police ang MILF force, quits ang crimes, change to Sharia ang laws, expand separatist bangsa or nation at peace ang kapalit.

    At wow! Kanila na Mindanao.

    Sabihing utak negosyante tayo. Sino lugi. Tama bang palitan ito.

    Eh parang deal ng terrorist at kidnap for ransam yata ito.

  2. There should only be one law in the Philippines. One constitution for the citizens of the Republic of the Philippines. These groups of people should assimilate not differentiate from the rest of us…I do not know what the lawmakers are thinking of…perhaps their pockets being lined up with funds from the Middle East?

  3. BBL must be absolutely scrapped!!!! we don’t need another kind of law that would the same kind as the Philippine Constitution.. sooner or later those bangsamoro would have their own government,,, we should not let them be incorrigible… but instead we must insist that we are correct than them.. and let them know that they don’t need the BBL, they only need the Philippine constitution to be their law

  4. reprecussion911 on

    Peace? BBL is not the absolute solution. Peace, Progress and
    development can still be achieve without BBL. One nation One country to
    solve the problems of their perspective cities. Makabayan hindi MAKASARILI.

    Don’t pass the BBL its like dealing with a criminal then granting them
    with EXTRAVAGANT RANSOM AND REWARD!! Then later on will take the whole
    Mindanao. Peace ngayon kapag lumakas na gusto pa ng kapangyarihan,
    kaharasan sa paligid ng claimed area or territory!

    GREED AND LUST OF POWER towards killing AND BEHEADING to get what they want?

    Negotiating out of fear? dahil sa pumapatay at pumupugot ng ulo?!?

    One nation One country to solve the problems of their perspective cities.

    Not thru creating a STATE within a STATE.

    Peace, Progress and Development can still be achieve without BBL.!

  5. neil tristan yabut on

    let them have it. as long as they do not secede from the republic, let them have it. we’ll see how many people will leave that place once they’re given the choice between a sharia justice system and the republic’s criminal code. we’ll see how little investment will pour in because of lack of market, inefficiencies, and corruption. imagine medical personnel leaving out of disappointment with how religious tradition interferes with saving lives.

    and when they start causing trouble again, is the republic going to concede again?

  6. This Aquino family has become a curse for the Filipino people supported by their equally idiot and stupid supporters!!!!

  7. no amount of comments will change the mindset of a Pnoy the abnoy. It is high time that Christians shall go to the streets to show our sentiments on BBL specially on the Shariah law. PRO BBL were already making their sentiments known by making dramatic marches , rallies and other activities to show their support. I have yet to see an Anti BBL rallies and protests.. Pnoy might have thought that in the absence of these, he is in the right track. I appeal to those who are oppoaed to this BBL to make known of their stand In congress, streets And freedom parks. The only way that evil triumphs is when good men do nothing and never care about it..Lets go stop this madness..

  8. Mr. Tiglao, these are the reasons you mentioned that I strongly opposed to this BBL. The inhuman treatment of suspected people, women which are just killed like chicken infront of the public. And now we have a traitor president who handed portion of land in Mindanao to these terrorists? There is still time to reject this evil BBL. Let the people decide and let it be a resounding NO to this BBL that would divede the country and its people. NO to BBL.

  9. bbl should be scrapped.. the big majority of mindanao demands its scrapping.. otherwise, civil war in mindanao will erupt…

  10. Jorospe Marcelo on

    Why then she allowed her unico hijo run for congress and from what I heard she muscle her way to make Spkr. JDV make that Abnoy become deputy Spkr for Luzon only to become incompetent, traitor, insensitive and pathetic president of this country.

    • neil tristan yabut on

      you should be asking why the people of tarlac were stupid enough to elect him to congress in the first place

  11. 1. Reply to don vantrees comments – before WW11 it is the 1935 Constitution that is in effect. This was scrapped when Marcos declared Martial Law. When Cory came into power, Cory declared a Revolutionary government and threw out the Marcos Constitution. Then the 1987 or Cory Constitution was ratified In a plebiscite and is still in use now.

    2. I tremble to think of the prophetic words of citaquidillo about the eunuch that would bring down PH to its downfall. God forbid! I don’t care if Abnoy will go to hell not the entire 100M Filipinos. Let the idiot and stupid BS Pinoy and his cronies burn in hell.

  12. Amnata Pundit on

    The Shariah law doesn’t sound so bad if its going to be applied on the crooks of this government. Won’t you be happy watching them cut off the hands of the likes of Drilon, Abad, Alcala, abnoy and the others? I Would.

  13. the article is forthwith with the anticipated results and what can be expected when this BBL or Bangsamoro entity becomes a reality. I worked and lived in the middle east (with my family) for almost 15 years as an expat, and saw and experienced the arrogance, inconsideration and intolerance of muslims to other faith and beliefs. they consider all non-muslims as infidels.

    those who say that passing the BBL will pave the way to peace are sorely mistaken and will wake up with the barrel of the gun or the blade of a sword upon their heads later. being a country who believes Jesus Christ as God and Savior will make the blood of muslins boil for every pronouncement of such faith. Islam and Christianity are diametrically opposed beliefs and faith. they can never reconcile!

  14. Off subject, I was wondering when you would do a column on the Pre WWII Constitution for the Philippines. Before WWII the Philippines was the most dominant economy in South East Asia. If I am correct the Constitution in 1936 had been approved by the US and the Philippines was on the verge of gaining its Independence. Post WWII it seams that corruption and greed by the Elite have driven the country to being considered by some as a 3rd world country. Japan, Korea,China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taipei have all leap frog-ed over your country. You are a well read man who has a good grasp on history. It would be nice to see a series on what has happened since the US Governed your country. I would even bet that there was not a lot of language about the AARM in the original Constitution.

    • Amnata Pundit on

      You can write a book about what happened that brought us to where we are today but if we must stick to the single biggest reason then it must be the exchange rate that the Americans imposed on us after the devastation of WWII. At P2-$1 it served as the biggest stumbling block to national development. Compare that to the more sensible exchange rate they allowed Japan to use which was more than Y1000-$1 which forced them to develop exports while we were importing ourselves to death. If you want the second biggest reason, well, in 1986 the lets-sell-out-to-the-foreigners Yellow regime came into power.

    • Don Vantrees on

      Amanata, I am not sure exactly what you are talking about the yellow party selling out to America. If history serves well they are the ones who closed Subic, and Clark. As for the other problems that you have ignored is the extreme corruption in government and the destruction of the Filipino family. You a laying blame where it does not belong. You can wear your hate America blinders all day long but most Americans love the Philippines and would love to have your country as its leading partner in South East Asia. It’s kind of hard to do business with a Government that steals from its own people.

      REPLY:
      Although Saguisag a Yellow loyalist is among those who voted — with Enrile, Erap, et al. in the Senate to end the US bases in the Philippines–the Yellow Army led by the late President Cory fought to retain Subic and Clark and the other US bases. You are wrong to say that the Yellow Party are the ones who closed Subic and Clark.

  15. The thought of going back 1,000 years into the past is an interesting subject in science fiction. The thought of bringing religious crafted laws into our society is something that no one wants. Who wants laws that the majority does not know. In our modern age, do we want women to be owned by men? We already allow Muslim men to have many wives. We allow males in every other religion to have only one. That is already crazy. Imagine if everything was different for the every person based on his religion. In the Philippines there is supposed to be a separation of the State and of religion. Let’s make it happen. No to the flawed BBL or bring back the Dark Ages. Junk it.

  16. It is very clear as the sun rises in the east, that our idiot President wants only a legacy and not the implication of his peace proposal with his cohorts MILF and their sponsor Malaysia. Abnoy is so stupid and idiot because he is dealing with only one of the moro rebels, Malaysian trained terrorists MILFand mind you it was even alleged that Malaysia went as far as crafting the BBL with their best lawyers and readily accepted by our equally idiot peace negotiators Deles and Ferrer. Some Muslims like in Sulu, Basilan and Zamboanga do not like this BBL because they don’t want to be dominated by the MILFs not to mention other minorities like the Lumads, other tribes and the Christians. Such a traitor and shameless President, even using the people’s money to bribe his lapdogs in Congress just to get his lousy legacy yet could not improve the lots of our poor people, what with high electricity costs, water rates, prime commodities, poor LRT/MRT/PNR services, corrupt cabinet members like Abaya, Alcala, Abad, Soliman, etc. Dumadami na ang ating mga kababayan na nagpapaalipin sa abroad dahil sa kababuyan ng mga ganid nating mga politiko. Ginagago tayo ng ating gobiyerno.

  17. A most disconcerting comment came at the weekend from chief propagandist coloma who said “”80% of people don’t understand BBL” as his way of dismissing public opinion. Arrogance unmasked by the inveterate liar. What a despicable and unethical individual he is.

    Pnoy Aquino et al have corrupted congress/senate so much that they now consider themselves invincible and untouchable.
    No more ‘listening to bosses’, or even entering into a dialogue, simply an assembly line of lies and misinformation.
    The sham democracy now operates no differently from a dictatorship in practice, and the sheep in congress can only utter ‘baaaa’ in response to

    Are there no champions of democracy in congress/senate. A plague on both houses.

  18. Claro Apolinar on

    God bless you, even if you obviously don;t believe in God, for pointing this out.

    It proves that this @$%#!&$!! Aquino and his slaves Deles and Ferrer, and disappointingly Rufus Rodriguez, who should be condemned by the Christians of Mindanao,, and the Phili[ppine Council for Islam and Democracy of Amina Rasul, and the so-called pro-women rights groups that are backing the passage of the BBL are TRAITORS not only to our Republic but also to WOMANHOOD.

    What does GABRIELA say of this? And Cardinal Tagle and Quevedo?

    • in asnswer to your question about tagle’s position on the BaBaLa, he has allowed his agent to sign in his behalf the report of the council created by boy sisi agreeing to the BaBaLa. the cardinal has not heard or did not hear the words of pope francis regarding the bangsamoro question. if i recall correctly, the pope said that all stakeholders should be heard and the law should be in accordance with the basic law of the land. there was one blogger here in manila times from mindanao who asked yesterday why the christians living in the bangsamoro be under the shariah law?? the christians there would experience living in the middle east like saudi arabia but living here in mindanao. obviously cardinal tagle did not think about this very big problem that his flock, the christians, would encounter once his approved BaBaLa becomes law.

  19. Migs Doromal on

    The BBL is the MILF’s template for the secession of Muslim territories in Mindanao from the Republic of the Philippines. With Sulu included in the breakaway group and becomes part of the Federation of Malaysia, the fate of Sabah is sealed once and for all with the sultanate of Sulu swearing allegiance to Malaysia.

    Will the MILF rulers impose a hardline Islamic faith? Most likely. They are cousins of the Talibans in Afghanistan.

  20. I Remember... on

    Great work as usual Mr. Tiglao.
    We can hope that with more people like you, the Philippines will grow better for all.

  21. nagkatotoo na kaya ang hula?

    THE EUNUCH WHO WILL BRING DOWN THE PHILIPPINES

    This astounding story is lifted from Gerald Abueva’s comment on Elizabeth’s Angioco’s column at the Manila Standard on August 18, 2014. Mr. Abueva was part of the delegation that accompanied Cory Aquino during her China visit in the spring of 1988. The story might as well have the title of:

    In the spring of 1988, Cory went to China on a state visit. While there, she made it a point to reconnect with her ancestral roots. She went out of her way to travel to the southeastern fringe of China, to Hongjian village of Fujian province where her forebears came from. In typical chinese fashion of ancestor-worship and in violation of her Catholic faith, Cory offered incense to her chinese forebears in a local shrine. Before leaving the shrine to return to official business, Cory was approached by an elderly woman who appeared to be the shrinekeeper. With only one good eye left, the squinting gray-haired lady took one close look at Cory and gently raised her cupped hands to touch Cory’s face. Before Cory could say anything, the old lady muttered something incomprehensible. An interpreter standing nearby inched in closer to translate the message. Baring a few teeth plated in gold, the shrinekeeper withdrew her hands except for a gnarled finger and warned Cory never to let her only begotten son get into politics. The old lady warned of dire consequences, not just to one person or one family but to an entire nation. There was something else the old lady said in one long breath which the interpreter appeared to be holding back from Cory and those around her. After some hesitation, the interpreter rather apologetically explained that the old lady likened Cory’s only begotten son to a eunuch, a eunuch who would become emperor and inflict a lot of misery and sufferings on an entire nation. Worse, the eunuch emperor would cause the undoing of Cory and the Filipino people, just as eunuchs had caused the downfall of dynasties and empires in China, Ottoman and Persia. Those of us who were standing around Cory froze in disbelief at the awkward comparison. Emily Abrera couldn’t help but blow a raspberry. Dismissing the prophecy as hogwash, the entourage left the scene for a tree-planting ceremony. No one knows how much Cory took the old lady’s advise to heart. What we do know is that Cory for many years thumbed down Noynoy’s desire to get into the senate until she relented in 2007. Late that same year, Cory was diagnosed with cancer that would ultimately spread to her colon. 26 years after that prophecy, the Philippines is teetering on the brink of a constitutional crisis, looming power crisis and the death of democracy. All because of Cory’s only begotten son.

    • Then why did Cory allow her $tupid, !dIot, a$$hole one and only son run for congress in the first place? What a country we have become.