CEBU CITY—Muslim leaders in Cebu vowed closer cooperation with the police to help ensure peace and order in the island.
Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius, chief of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO 7), on Wednesday led a meeting with the leaders of the various Muslim communities in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and other areas in Cebu province.
During the dialogue, Muslim leaders and the police signed a manifesto of cooperation.
Ferro said the PRO 7 initiated the meeting not only because of the recent deadly bombings in Jolo, Sulu.
“We are here today so we could come up with a dialogue. This is not because we have a bombing. No. I promise you this will be a regular meeting. If we could do this once a month or maybe by the different city directors to spare you from the hassles of travelling,” Ferro said.
Ferro thanked the Muslim communities for signing the manifesto, saying it indicated their sincerity and commitment to peace.
“Our mutual intention to maintain our community free from violence and intimidation is in the same direction to protect the citizens in Central Visayas,” Ferro said.
The PRO 7 director asked the Muslim leaders to help the police monitor the possible presence of terrorists in their communities.
The Muslim leaders, in turn, asked the police to protect them from discrimination.
“In the past, your cooperation saved the people from harm, and I was one of your witnesses. I am really an advocate of anti-terrorism and an advocate of respect for our Muslim brothers. We are against discrimination,” Ferro said.
Before the meeting in Lapu-Lapu, Ferro also met with the Muslim leaders in Bohol province last August 29.
Present in the meeting were the leaders of eight Muslim communities in Bohol and members of the Community Integrated Intelligence Support Group, a non-government organization which is in partnership with City Intelligence Unit of the Bohol Provincial Police Office.