By BITOON A RANAO
The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has expressed support to the initiative of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in reaching out to the Muslim youth sector in Metro Manila.
In a statement issued on Friday, P/General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, PNP chief, said the high command supports the initiative of NCRPO in reaching out to the Muslim youth sector in Metro Manila.
He was referring to the controversial memorandum issued by NCRPO chief Police Major General Debold Sinas seeking an updated list of Muslim students in high schools, colleges and universities in Metro Manila.
Debold has denied that they are profiling the students but merely gathering statistics on the number of Muslim high school and college students “in order to conduct interventions and programs in strengthening Salaam Police [Center].”
Gamboa said, “By consolidating the Muslim youth mass base for purposes of possible mobilization in future police-community affairs programs, we are, in effect, facilitating better understanding of the uniqueness and complexities of the different belief systems in a multi-faith society by promoting healthy discussions and exchange of opinions thru the Salaam Police Centers.”
Part of Gamboa statement said:
“The PNP believes that this simple gesture of respect and consideration for others is the true essence of peace and religious freedom, guaranteed by the state as a sovereign right of every peace-loving Filipino.
“Our goal is to facilitate dialogue with our Muslim brothers and sisters, so that we can thresh out problems related to peace and order.
“This augurs well with the PNP’s Assessment and Initiatives on the Role of Traditional Leaders in Community Policing in Muslim Communities.
“I urge the public to be more circumspect in their interpretation of this noble 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.” (With PNP-PIO)