BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
The Philippine Embassy in Brunei is planning a second printing of its guidebook on Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 as part of its plan to familiarise local Filipinos with the law.
Philippine Ambassador Nestor Z Ochoa said the embassy is awaiting approval of funding from the Philippine government to print more copies of the booklet, which was launched on October 10 this year.
Only 1,000 copies are currently in circulation – not enough for the more than 21,000 Filipinos in Brunei, which account for the biggest group of non-Muslim expats in the country.
The ambassador spoke to The Brunei Times on the sidelines of the launch of the ‘Filipinos in Brunei’ book at the embassy yesterday. The book, written by Cecile Castilla and published by AdsAllure, is a collection of 20 stories of Filipinos in Brunei which details their aspirations, challenges and achievements.
Ambassador Ochoa and French ambassador to Brunei Loan Forgeron launched the book.
Following the enforcement of the first phase of Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 in May this year, the Philippine Embassy launched its own unofficial simplified guide to the Syariah Penal Code to help local Filipinos understand the law.
Ambassador Ochoa added that “ideally, everybody should have a copy (of the booklet). We hope that we can get the funding for it so we can produce more for our Filipino nationals.” The booklet lists the provisions implemented in the first phase, the offences and punishments and their applicability to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
“It is important for all Filipinos to understand Syariah Law. There are many terminologies (in the law) which may be difficult for many to understand, especially for the layman. So we’ve simplified the law so all Filipinos can understand it,” he said.
A brief introduction to Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 is also available on the embassy’s website at http://philippine-embassybrunei.org/syariah-penal-code/
The Brunei Times
Sunday, December 7, 2014