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Civil Code and Sharia Law: which should prevail?

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LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…Solomon answered…`So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?’…” (1 Kings 3:6, 9, the Holy Bible).

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CIVIL CODE AND SHARIA LAW: WHICH SHOULD PREVAIL? Can it really be possible for House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez Jr. to marry another woman even if his first marriage to his first wife is still existing and has not been annulled yet, since, according to him, he is a Muslim belonging to a Muslim tribe? This is a good question, especially if it is going to be answered in connection with Presidential Decree 1083.

PD 1083 is otherwise known as the “Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines” (or the Muslim Sharia Law) which was passed in 1977 yet by then President Marcos. This law appears to contain a provision governing marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims, similar perhaps to the case of Alvarez and his current legal wife.

According to Art. 13, Section 2 of PD 1083, when the marriage is between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, the law that will govern them is the Civil Code of the Philippines, and not the Sharia Law. What this appears to convey is that, the prohibition found in the Civil Code against a person’s marrying more than once should be followed. Can Alvarez please give some explanation on this?

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OBLIGATIONS OF POLICEMEN UNDER R.A. 7438 (V):  Under Section 2 (b) of Republic Act 7438, the directive there is clear: “If such person cannot afford the services of his own counsel, he must be provided with a competent and independent counsel by the investigating officer…” “Such person” under this section refers to someone who was arrested, invited for questioning, or is being investigated for an offense.

What this means is that, policemen must provide those whom they have arrested the services of a lawyer, free of charge, especially if the arrested persons lack the financial capacity to retain a counsel of their choice. If anyone making the arrest will not comply with this, they will be considered to have violated Republic Act 7438, and will be punished with up to 10 years of imprisonment and barred from government employment for life.

In the course of a custodial investigation, if the police cannot provide those whom they arrested (or invited for questioning) with a free lawyer, they cannot continue their investigation, and are obliged to hold in custody those they arrested only within the periods provided for by Art. 125 of the Revised Penal Code.

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STORIES ABOUT GOD’S COMING TO EARTH, IN THE FORM OF MAN (I): The prime stories from the Bible which deal with God’s coming to earth from heaven, in the form of man, with flesh and blood, can be summed in 18 parts, in general. These are the announcement of the coming to earth of Jesus; visitation of Elizabeth by Mary; birth of Jesus; presentation of Jesus in the Temple; and finding of Jesus in the Temple.

Then, we also have the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River; wedding at Cana; proclamation of the Kingdom and the power of God; transformation of the appearance of Jesus; Holy Union between Jesus

and his human believers; prayer in agony by Jesus; scourging of Jesus at the pillar; putting a crown of thorns on the head of Jesus; carrying of the cross; and crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross.

Finally, we also have the resurrection of Jesus; His ascent to heaven; and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the form of tounges of fire. We will endeavor to clarify these stories one by one, so that parents

will have a better understanding of them, enabling them to narrate it clearly to their own children!

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FOR QUESTIONS, REACTIONS: If anyone would like to ask me any question about what the burning issues of the  day mean, or what we have discussed here, or to consult on any problem, whatever it maybe, please call 0917 984 24 68, or email me at batasmauricio@yahoo.com, or post your concerns at www.facebook.com/attybatas. Promise, I will answer right away. Thank God in the Name of Jesus, Amen!   (By Atty. Batas Mauricio) -30-




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