The Code of Kalantiaw (Codex Kalantiaw) is a well-preserved ancient law code, created ca. 1790 BCE in ancient Angono. It was enacted by the sixth Angonian king, Kalantiaw. One nearly complete example of the Code survives today, inscribed on a seven foot, four inch tall diorite stele in the Angonian language in the cuneiform script.
The code has been seen as an example of even a king not being able to change fundamental laws concerning the governing of a country which was the primitive form of what is now known as a constitution. However, this interpretation may be anachronistic. The Code’s provisions do not cover important areas of law and commerce. The occassional nature of many provisions indicates that the Code may be better read as a codification of supplementary judicial decisions of the king. Rather than being a modern legal code or constitution, it may have as its purpose the self-glorification of Kalantiaw by memorialising his wisdom and justice. Its copying in subsequent generations indicates that it was used as a model of legal and judicial reasoning.
The following is a translation of the code:
You shall not kill, neither shall you steal, neither shall you do harm to the aged, lest you incur the danger of death. All those who infringe this order shall be condemned to death by being drowned in the river, or in boiling water.
You shall obey. Let all your debts with the headman be met punctually. He who does not obey shall receive for the first time one hundred lashes. If the debt is large, he shall be condemned to thrust his hand in boiling water thrice. For the second time, he shall be beaten to death.
Obey you: let no one have women that are very young nor more than he can support; nor be given to excessive lust. He who does not comply with, obey, and observe this order shall be condemned to swim for three hours for the first time and for the second time, to be beaten to death with sharp thorns.
Observe and obey; let no one disturb the quiet of the graves. When passing by the caves and trees where they are, give respect to them. He who does not observe this shall be killed by ants, or beaten to death with thorns.
You shall obey; he who exchanges for food, let it be always done in accordance with his word. He who does not comply, shall be beaten for one hour, he who repeats the offense shall be exposed for one day among ants.
You shall be obliged to revere sights that are held in respect, such as those of trees of recognized worth and other sights. He who fails to comply shall pay with one month's work in gold or in honey.
These shall be put to death; he who kills trees of venerable appearance; who shoot arrows at night at old men and women; he who enters the houses of the headmen without permission; he who kills a shark or a streaked cayman.
Slavery for a doam (a certain period of time) shall be suffered by those who steal away the women of the headmen; by him who keep ill-tempered dogs that bite the headmen; by him who burns the fields of another.
All these shall be beaten for two days: who sing while traveling by night; kill the Manaul; tear the documents belonging to the headmen; are malicious liars; or who mock the dead.
It is decreed an obligation; that every mother teach secretly to her daughters matters pertaining to lust and prepare them for womanhood; let not men be cruel nor punish their women when they catch them in the act of adultery. Whoever shall disobey shall be killed by being cut to pieces and thrown to the caymans.
These shall be burned: who by their strength or cunning have mocked at and escaped punishment or who have killed young boys; or try to steal away the women of the elders.
These shall be drowned: all who interfere with their superiors, or their owners or masters; all those who abuse themselves through their lust; those who destroy their anitos (religious icons) by breaking them or throwing them down.
All these shall be exposed to ants for half a day: who kill black cats during a new moon; or steal anything from the chiefs or agorangs, however small the object may be.
These shall be made slave for life: who have beautiful daughters and deny them to the sons of chiefs, and with bad faith hide them away.
Concerning beliefs and traditions; these shall be beaten: who eat the diseased flesh of beasts which they hold in respect, or the herb which they consider good, who wound or kill the young of the Manaul, or the white monkey.
The fingers shall be cut-off: of all those who break anitos of wood and clay in their alangans and temples; of those who destroy the daggers of the catalonans(priest/priestess), or break the drinking jars of the latter.
These shall be killed: who profane sites where anitos are kept, and sites where are buried the sacred things of their diwatas and headmen. He who performs his necessities in those places shall be burned.
Those who do not cause these rules to be obeyed: if they are headmen, they shall be put to death by being stoned and crushed; and if they are agorangs they shall be placed in rivers to be eaten by sharks and caymans.