Bangsamoro gov't elated with recall of memo targeting Muslim students
Muslim prays at Salam Mosque in Culiat in Quezon City. Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. Today marks the end of Ramadan.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Bangsamoro gov't elated with recall of memo targeting Muslim students

John Unson (Philstar.com) - February 22, 2020 - 1:40pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Officials in the Bangsamoro region were elated with the recall of the police memorandum to have Muslim students in Manila listed as part of a counter-extremism program.

Police Major Gen. Debold Sinas, Metro Manila’s police director, ordered the recall late Friday of the January 31 memorandum that drew flak from various groups, among them central Mindanao’s business community and officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Bai Sandra Siang, a senior official of the Metro Kutawato Muslim Business Chamber, said Saturday she and her colleagues are thankful to Sinas for revoking the memorandum.

“The recall of that memorandum is a good move,” Siang told reporters via online Messenger.

The January 31 memorandum from the top command of the Manila Police District directed police stations to list all Muslim high school and college students in Metro Manila in line with a peace-building program meant to counter violent extremism.

BARMM officials said the move was tantamount to “profiling” of students who are Muslims.

They were apprehensive it can affect the peace overture of President Rodrigo Duterte with southern Moro communities.

Among the senior Bangsamoro officials who immediately expressed appreciation of the memorandum’s recall is lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, who is BARMM’s local government minister, and Abdulraof Macacua, executive secretary of Bangsamoro Chief Minister Hadji Ahod Ebrahim.

They separately told reporters they are thankful to Sinas for his prompt intervention on the issue.

Sinarimbo is the presiding chairperson of the multi-sector Regional Advisory Council of the Police Regional Office-BARMM.

In a statement, Sinas said he has directed MPD’s director, Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba, to recall the memorandum that ordered the listing of Muslim students in Manila.

The 80-member Bangsamoro parliament passed on Friday morning a resolution condemning the MPD memorandum.

The resolution was authored by parliament member Amir Mawallil, former director of the Bureau of Public Information in the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Members of the BARMM parliament said the MPD’s list up plan was an “oppressive profiling” of Muslim students in Metro Manila.

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