Cultural Protections: Mindanao Final Agreement

III. The New Regional Autonomous Government, C. Education

Article 103: 

Muslim culture, mores, customs and traditions which are mainly based on Islam, as well as the cultures, mores, customs, and traditions of Christians and indigenous people, shall be preserved through the regular public and special schools in the Autonomous Region, considering that schools are perpetuating vehicles of the values of the people.

III. The New Regional Autonomous Government, E. Sharia and Judiciary

Article 152:

The Regional Legislative Assembly of the area of autonomy shall establish Sharia Courts in accordance with the existing laws.

Implementation History

1996

No Implementation

The 1996 accord calls on the ARMM Regional Assembly (not established in 1996) to establish Sharia courts and Islamic schools.  Both Sharia courts and Islamic schools already existed in the ARMM prior to the 1996 peace agreement, providing a baseline for increases or decreases in the frequency of both institutions. In a 1994 interview with Judge Alauya, a Sharia Magistrate, he indicated that there were presently five Sharia district courts and 31 Sharia circuit courts in the ARMM, and that judges received their training in Sharia Law in Saudi Arabia.1 

As for Islamic schools, the GRP did not fund Islamic cultural education at the time of the 1996 agreement, although, in principal, they allowed Islamic cultural subject matter to be taught as an optional curriculum in majority Muslim areas.

  • 1. "Kingdom keen to train Sharia judges for Mindanao," SAUDI GAZETTE, May 30, 1994.
1997

No Implementation

The GRP did not fund Islamic cultural education in 1997, although, they allowed Islamic cultural subject matter to be taught as an optional curriculum in majority Muslim areas.

1998

No Implementation

The GRP did not fund Islamic cultural education in 1998, although, they allowed Islamic cultural subject matter to be taught as an optional curriculum in majority Muslim areas.

1999

No Implementation

The GRP did not fund Islamic cultural education in 1999, although, they allowed Islamic cultural subject matter to be taught as an optional curriculum in majority Muslim areas.

2000

No Implementation

The GRP did not fund Islamic cultural education in 2000, although, they allowed Islamic cultural subject matter to be taught as an optional curriculum in majority Muslim areas.

2001

No Implementation

The GRP did not fund Islamic cultural education in 2001, although, they allowed Islamic cultural subject matter to be taught as an optional curriculum in majority Muslim areas.

In 2001, the Republic Act 9054 becomes law which formally establishes the Regional Legislative Assembly, although no representative elections are held, and no new Sharia courts or Islamic schools are created. 

2002

No Implementation

The GRP did not fund Islamic cultural education in 2002, although, they allowed Islamic cultural subject matter to be taught as an optional curriculum in majority Muslim areas.

2003

No Implementation

The GRP did not fund Islamic cultural education in 2003, although, they allowed Islamic cultural subject matter to be taught as an optional curriculum in majority Muslim areas.

2004

Intermediate Implementation

 In 2004, the development and institutionalization of madrasah education was approved by the GRP Department of Education under DepED Order No. 51 in 2004. The ARMM also adopted the national standard curriculum in the same year with Executive Order No. 13-A. These two orders essentially bring Madrasah schools into the national fold for the first time by allowing them to apply for national funding.2 

The  Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference reported the legal developments of 2004 as positive measures toward promoting a unified Philippine national identity while preserving Islamic cultural heritage.3

  • 2. "DepEd Order No. 51," GRP Department of Education, accessed August 06, 2012, http://eedncr.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/deped-order-no-51-s-2004.pdf.
  • 3. "Report of the OIC Secretary-General on the Question of Muslims in Southern Philippines,” Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC/33-ICFM/2005/MM/SG/REP.2), 2006, accessed August 2012, http://www.oic-oci.org/baku2006/english/SG-report/33ICFM-MM-SG-REP-ENG-P...8.
2005

Intermediate Implementation

Ten years after the signing of the peace accord, the GRP reports to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that it has implemented the Sharia provisions and reports that there are five Sharia district courts and 30 Sharia circuit courts within the ARMM. Given the baseline frequency of Sharia courts established in 1996, it appears that no changes to the status quo have taken place over ten years.4

The institutional requirements for establishing Sharia courts and Islamic Schools, namely, the establishment of the ARMM Regional Assembly, was finally put in place in 2005. On 8 August 2005, gubernatorial and representative elections are held for the ARMM Regional Assembly. According to the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), Commission on Elections there were 24 new members elected to the Regional Legislative Assembly from the five provinces and one city which make up the ARMM.5