FULL TEXT: Essence of Sharia law is preservation of life – Hataman

The House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final reading the death penalty bill on Tuesday, March 7 with a vote of 217-54-1.

Congressmen were given a chance to explain their votes before the plenary. Among them was Anak Mindanao Representative Sitti Turabin Hataman, who voted against House Bill 4727.

Here is the full text of Hataman's speech as provided by her office.

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Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem.

In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

For all the reasons articulated by my colleagues against the death penalty, I vote No, and more.

I do not claim to be more righteous, or more humane, nor claim I am right, and the others, wrong.

This vote is not meant to divide, or to oppose anyone. It is simply AMIN's and my personal conviction based on the following reasons.

First as a Moro, who will be most affected by this legislation. AMIN has for the last decades witnessed, verified, assisted, and stood for, the Muslim Filipino victims of warrantless arrests, illegal search, mistaken identity, hulidap, illegal detention, planting of evidence – most of which turned out to be framed up drug-related cases.

This discrimination against Muslim Filipinos, is seen in the findings of a survey made in Quezon City Jail Female Dormitory last 2013. The survey showed that said facility has 86 Muslim women detainees out of 548 detainees or 16% of the jail population. The Muslim Filipinos in Quezon City is only 4%. Statistically speaking, nangangahulugan pong apat na beses kaming mas marami sa loob ng kulungan kaysa sa labas. Worst, majority of these women are charged with drug-related cases, the same situation of those who are likely to be at the receiving end of the law that this House just passed.

Now my vote on the basis of being a Muslim. My stand on the death penalty came as a surprise to many since the Sharia Law provides for the death penalty. Although we Muslims are a minority, I cannot make a decision on a crucial issue, a matter of life and death, without consulting my faith, and the authorities in it.

Based on a Roundtable Discussion AMIN conducted with Muslim religious leaders, we learned the following:

Fellow members of this august chamber, many look at the Sharia Law as a very harsh, brutal law. But in these few examples cited by our Muslim religious leaders, clearly, it is a manifestation of God’s infinite mercy and compassion towards His creations. And I, foremost as a Muslim and more essentially as a human being, cannot afford to transgress this Mercy every creation is entitled to.

Sarili ko pong buhay hindi ko kayang panagutan, I cannot afford, and is most afraid, to be held accountable for another life, even just one life. Thus, I vote No.

Maraming salamat po. – Rappler.com