A Muslim lawmaker on Sunday warned that it would be insulting to both Muslim and Christian believers if musician Freddie Aguilar changes his religion to marry his 16-year-old girlfriend.
Basilan Rep. Jim Hataman-Salliman expressed hope that the 60-year -ld Aguilar did not turn to Islam for succor to ensure his marriage with Jovie Albao after the Revised Penal Code restrained him from marrying his bride, who is turning 17 on Nov. 29.
“I am not really aware of any legal impediment in relation to Shari’a law. I am just hoping that the conversion is not for convenience. I don’t think it’s morally right to shift from one religion to another just for the purpose of marriage. And it’s an insulting to both Muslim and Christian believer if that is the case,” he said in an interview.
Aguilar, who converted to Islam about six months ago, wed Albao in traditional Islamic wedding rites with Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu acting as wali or guardian of Albao.
AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, a lawyer, said Aguilar should not be judged for marrying Albao in Muslim rites.
“As a Muslim, Freddie Aguilar’s personal laws are already governed by Shari’a law which is also recognized by Philippine law. If it’s legal under Shari’a law, then their marriage is valid,” he said.
Civil law and Catholic practice views 18 as the legal age for marriage.