By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) leadership has admitted an error in the drafting of a memorandum that eventually caused public furor for its context being perceived as a means of “profiling” Muslim students in Manila, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) announced on Tuesday.
NCRPO officials led Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, Metro Manila police director, made the admission cum explanation during a meeting with NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan at the latter’s main office in Quezon City on Monday, Commission Spokesman Jun Alonto-Datu Ramos said.
Pangarungan called for the meeting with the NCRPO leadership to clarify the issue and discuss with the NCMF an “acceptable method” for data gathering in pursuit of the government’s drive on countering violent extremism, Datu Ramos said.
He said Sinas echoed his earlier recall of the controversial memo from the Manila Police District (MPD) for its sub-commanders to submit an updated list of Muslim students in all high schools, colleges and universities in Manila.
The NCRPO clarified that his recall order also covered other police offices in Metro Manila, and that future messages will have to be properly consulted with the “salam” units of the police organization to preserve “culture sensitivity” in police campaign against violent extremism, the NMFC spokesman said.
Sinas had earlier announced his recall of the controversial memo through national media networks on the heels of sharp reactions from various sectors, notably among professionals and entities in the country’s Muslim community.
Before the announced recall order, the parliament of the Bangsamoro autonomous government here and the chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Lanao del Sur came up with separate resolutions condemning the supposed “profiling” issue and demanding just remedy.