A proposal has been raised in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan urging Palawan representatives to file a bill creating a Shari’a Court in Palawan.
Board member Ryan Maminta noted that there are only five Shari’a District Courts in the Philippines, all of which are in Mindanao.
Maminta said that Muslims in Palawan have a unique legal system, influenced by their own culture and traditions that must be recognized and can only be enforced by the Shari’a Court.
“By the establishment of the Shari’a Court in Palawan, our Muslim constituents may resolve and settle cases those related to marriage, annulment, betrothal, distribution of property, communal properties and other conflicts that are not governed under the Civil Code of the Philippines but based on the customary law of Muslims,” Maminta said.
He said that this court was created through Presidential Decree No. 1083 to resolve cases involving Muslims and for the effective administration and enforcement of the Muslim’s personal law subject to the supervision of the Supreme Court.
Based on the 2015 survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), one in every 10 persons in Palawan is Muslim which comprises 10.56 percent of the total population of the province mainly concentrated in southern Palawan, he said.
The resolution has been approved on its first and final reading.