Legal manual for Muslim Filipinos now available

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/27 September)—The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has urged its constituents to avail a copy of a legal handbook primarily designed to help Muslim Filipinos increase their human rights knowledge.

NCMF Secretary Yasmin Busran Lao said the legal handbook is now available, after four years in the making, with the assistance of the European Union and other government agencies.

The manual is titled “Relevant Legal Materials on Human Rights for Muslim Communities in the Philippines: A Legal Handbook.”

In a report posted at the NCMF website, Lao said the legal handbook would help Muslim Filipinos understand their various human rights under the Philippine legal system.

The legal handbook was primarily developed for the use of Muslim Filipino communities through the NCMF Muslim Community Paralegal Program.

Thirty-four volunteer paralegals from eight Muslim communities in the country were trained by several law experts to come up with the legal handbook.

The European Union, through its EU-Philippines Justice Support Programme II, provided support to the crafting of the legal handbook.

Muslim Filipinos, estimated to number five million, are a minority population in the Philippines, a largely Roman Catholic nation.

The legal handbook includes the topics Islam, Muslims and Human Rights; Relevant Laws and Legal Procedures Affecting Muslim Communities; Legal Assistance and other Available Remedies; and Basic Paralegal Skills.

It also contains annexes on Legal Guidelines on Hijab; Presidential Decree 1083 or the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines; and the Department of Health (DOH) Administrative Order 55-200 (Formulation of Standard Operating Procedures in releasing Muslim cadavers from all DOH hospitals), among others.(MindaNews)