Shari'a Appellate Court exercising its jurisdiction

Under Republic Act No. 9054, An Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 6734, entitled, "An Act Providing for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as amended", the Shari'a Appellate Court shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari of decisions of the Shari'a District Courts. In Villagracia v. Fifth (5th) Shari’a District Court,[1] the Supreme Court said:
x x x We call for the organization of the court system created under Republic Act No. 9054 to effectively enforce the Muslim legal system in our country. After all, the Muslim legal system – a legal system complete with its own civil, criminal, commercial, political, international, and religious laws — is part of the law of the land, and Shari’a courts are part of the Philippine judicial system.

The Shari’a Appellate Court created under Republic Act No. 9054 shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over all cases tried in the Shari’a District Courts. It shall also exercise original jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, habeas corpus, and other auxiliary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.The decisions of the Shari’a Appellate Court shall be final and executory, without prejudice to the original and appellate jurisdiction of this court.[2]

In Tomawis v. Hon. Balindong,[3] the Supreme Court stated that:
x x x [t]he Shari’a Appellate Court has yet to be organized with the appointment of a Presiding Justice and two Associate Justices. Until such time that the Shari’a Appellate Court shall have been organized, however, appeals or petitions from final orders or decisions of the SDC filed with the CA shall be referred to a Special Division to be organized in any of the CA stations preferably composed of Muslim CA Justices.[4]

[1] G.R. No. 188832, April 23, 2014.

[2] Villagracia v. Fifth (5th) Shari’a District Court, supra, at 577-578.

[3] 628 Phil. 252 (2010).

[4] Tomawis v. Balindong, supra, at 258-259. (Emphasis omitted)