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On November 17, 2016, a forum on “Exploring Correspondences between International Humanitarian Law and Islamic Law related to armed conflict and their relevance in the Southern Philippines” was conducted under the joint sponsorship of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), the University of the Philippines – Institute of Islamic Studies, and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) through Bureau of Peace Conflict and Resolution (BPCR) at Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines Diliman.  The forum aims to promote understanding and knowledge of the rules of Islamic Law related to armed conflict and to highlight the compatibility of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) (including Rep. Act No. 9851) with Islamic Law, with the hope to create a positive impact on the conduct of hostilities and more respect for common humanitarian values in the country, as well as trigger research in this interesting field.

According to Prof. Macrina Morados, Dean of the UP-IIS, this is “actually an offshoot of the first successful forum” that they had with ICRC last year. This time, “with the collaboration of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos,” many aspects of IHL and Islamic Law are covered “to draw highlights of its relevance to the armed conflict situations in Southern Philippines, particularly those affecting the Muslims.” The topics include Introduction to IHL and RA 9851, Introduction to Islamic Law related to armed conflict and correspondences with IHL, Correspondences and differences between IHL and Islamic Law related to Armed Conflict, and implementing IHL and Islamic Law in Practice, and Challenges Faced in the Philippines.

Around 100 participants from national government agencies, the academe, and civil society organizations attended the event. BPCR, Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA) and Bureau of Muslim Cultural Affairs (BMCA) Bureau of Muslim Settlement (BMS) staff, Shari’ah counsellors, Gender and Development (GAD) focal persons comprised the NCMF delegation.