NCRPO chief denies
The chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) ordered the Manila Police District (MPD) to recall a memorandum regarding the gathering of list of Muslim students in the city.
NCRPO chief Police Major General Debold Sinas, in a statement released Friday night, however, said the action of getting the list of Muslim students was not "profiling."
He said authorities were just collecting the statistics of Muslim students as required by the Directorate for Police Community Relations-Salaam Police Center.
“I have directed the District Director of Manila Police Distict PBGen. Bernabe Mendoza Balba to recall the memorandum regarding the updated list of Muslim students in high school, colleges and universities in Manila City,” Sinas said.
“We will make the representation to Directorate for Police Community Relations to reconsider their directive,” he said.
The police official said the NCRPO does not intend to cause harm and anxiety to the Filipino-Muslims.
"Please be assured that instead, I will direct the MPD Salaam Police to conduct a meeting with the Muslim student leaders in Manila City to accomplish the projects and activities for the Muslim community,” he added.
Sinas said his office upholds the good rapport it has established with the Filipino-Muslimns.
“The Team-NCRPO commits to continue to strengthen the partnership between the police and Muslim communities,” he said.
The NCRPO chief earlier said the center, manned by Muslim cops, was created to oversee the diverse cultural differences and concerns, especially in the aspect of safety and security.
“One of its functions is to undertake close monitoring, networking and liaising activities with Muslim communities and other communities in addressing terrorism and lawless violence in their respective areas,” Sinas said.
In a separate statement, PNP chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa urged the public to be more circumspect in the interpretation of the PNP initiative and not be swayed by disinformation spun by those with ulterior motives.
“General Sinas and I are both from Mindanao, as well as a good number of our PNP generals. We know better in getting along with our Muslim brothers than those who are good only at uneducated speculation,” he added.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines earlier disclosed the supposed police memorandum.
ACT said targeting Muslim students in counterterrorism seminars "reeks of the police's ignorance and islamophobia" and schools should not allow themselves to be utilized for such or any other counterinsurgency measures by the PNP. Ella Dionisio/DMS