MANILA - National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Debold Sinas has ordered the Manila Police District (MPD) to recall a memorandum on the alleged profiling of Muslim students in Manila after drawing flak from the public.
In a statement, Sinas said that he has directed the matter to District Director Police Brig. Gen Bernabe Mendoza Balba.
“The NCRPO does not intend to cause harm and anxiety to our Muslim brothers and sisters. Please be assured that instead, I will direct the Salaam Police to conduct a meeting with the Muslim student leaders in Manila City to accomplish the projects and activities for the Muslim community,” Sinas said.
“Let me reiterate that we uphold the good rapport we have established with our Muslim brothers and sisters. The Team-NCRPO commits to continue to strengthen the partnership between the police and Muslim communities,” he added.
Teachers’ group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines on Thursday condemned the alleged profiling of Muslim students, describing it as "police ignorance and Islamophobia.”
ACT National Chairperson Joselyn Martinez said that schools should not allow themselves to be utilized for “such or any other counterinsurgency measures by the PNP.”
"These students and our schools have nothing to do with the government's wars, and therefore should not be used as avenues in the furtherance of such. It should remain zones of peace, free of police and military intrusion," Martinez said.
Sinas later said the memorandum seeks statistics of the Salaam Police Center in order for the Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) to conduct interventions and programs for the community.
“The center was created to oversee the diverse cultural differences and concerns, especially in the aspect of safety and security. One of its function 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,” the regional director said.
“We firmly believe that one’s religion should never hinder us in pursuit for lasting peace and harmony thus, PNP through the DPCR includes Salaam Police Center as one of its top priority,” he added.