COTABATO CITY — In line with the ongoing formulation of the 2nd Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) for 2023-2028, officials and representatives of the subsector on Bangsamoro Justice System under the Development Administration Committee (DACom) convened in a consultative meeting held on Monday, August 1, at the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA), Conference Hall, to review and discuss the subsector’s outputs as a people-centered justice system in the Bangsamoro.
The said meeting aimed to define the scope and limitations of the Bangsamoro Justice System; gather relevant data to supplement the identified indicators in the subsector objectives; and review and provide recommendations on the initial draft of the subsector’s outputs.
Jomar A. Abdulgafar from the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) and Pahmia P. Noska from the BPDA led the said meeting.
In his statement via Zoom video teleconference, Atty. Omar M. Macapaar, BARMM Assistant Regional Prosecutor, the issues and concerns in Bangsamoro Justice System shall not only focus on Shari’ah matters.
“There should be a Philippine Congress and Bangsamoro Parliament forum to discuss deeper the Bangsamoro Justice System and build a strong coordination mechanism for the justice system in the Bangsamoro region,” he said.
In addition, Atty. Gapor G. Quituar, Attorney V of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), supported the idea of holding a Philippine Congress and Bangsamoro Parliament forum, citing the necessity to involve several institutions outside BARMM and along with the Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) body as the facilitator.
Atty. Quituar further stressed the issue on statistics regarding the cases filed in the Shari’ah Courts and the problem on Shari’ah public awareness.
“The problem with the slow appointment of judges is on the issue of statistics, there is a small number of cases filed in the Shari’ah Courts, and people don’t appreciate resolving cases in the Shariah Courts,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Bangsamoro Attorney General’s Office (BAGO) represented by Atty. Yasmine A. Ibay-Laguialam and Planning Officer Rafsanjani J. Anam commended the initiative of the DACom to hold a consultative meeting that will serve as an information base for the development and formulation of the Bangsamoro Justice system in the 2nd BDP. Atty. Lagiuilam also emphasized the importance of codification the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in resolving tribal disputes.
Among the highlights of the meeting are the implementation of the unimplemented institutional provisions as stated in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL); appointment of Shari’ah judges, additional Shari’ah Courts in BARMM and expansion of Shariah Courts outside BARMM; discussion on the weak coordination among the five pillars of justice system such as law enforcement, prosecution, courts, correction, community; awareness on basic human rights; identifying of priority legislative agenda; and the necessity of establishing separate custodial facilities for the Taazir (minor) cases.
In attendance via zoom were Atty. Abdulhamid A. Matao from the Office of the Regional Prosecutor-BARMM and Atty. Hosni M. Masbud from the Office of the City Prosecutor-Lamitan City. Also physically present were Ebrahim T. Norodin from the Bangsamoro Darul Ifta (BDI), Ariel de Asis from the Office for Settler Communities (OSC), Noron S. Andan from the Office for Other Bangsamoro Communities (OOBC), and Suraida P. Ampatuan from the Commission on Election (COMELEC-BARMM). (BPDA-BARMM)