By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
Bureau Chief for Metro Manila News Bureau
COMMONWEALTH AVENUE, Quezon City
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has condemned the comments of Gov. Manuel Mamba of Cagayan Valley as an unfortunate statement for calling the Muslims as violent people and highly irresponsible remarks coming supposedly from a highly respected government official.
Gov. Mamba said this statement in the recent Senate Hearing by stereotyping Muslims of being violent people.
NCMF Commissioner Yusoph Mando said the statement of Gov. Mamba has caused the Muslims more to be suspected and accused of serious crimes with impunity and that the suffering of Muslims may be worsened by this irresponsible utterance.
“Just because a community is predominantly Muslim does not mean that it should be considered presumptively ‘notorious,’ Commissioner Mando said.
Kim Bagundang a Maguindanao farmer and entrepreneur and former cartoonist of the defunct Philippine Muslim Times said majority of the Muslims in Cagayan Valley are actually Maranao businessmen.
“They are not violent Muslims but peaceful people who just wanted to earn an honest living. Seemingly there was a diaspora among them because as a sign they don’t want violent living they left their hometowns in far away south in Mindanao and opted to settle in far north of the the Philippines particularly Cagayan Valley,” Bagundang added.
Bagundang also emphasized that Cagayan Valley is being populated mostly by Maranao, a very religious Muslims.
“Believe me this guy (Mamba) will become a Muslim soon or his children because they were Muslims before the Spaniard came,” a cooler headed Bagundang optimistically said.
Meanwhile, Commisioner Mando said Gov. Mamba is unfortunately uneducated, misguided for being stereotype culturally.
“This will cause internal conflict and inhumane treatment of Filipinos of a different religious faith from the majority,” the NCMF high official said.
The Cagayan Governor cited absence of Muslims for peace and order in his province, which is anti-Muslim remark during a Senate Hearing that touched on peace and order topic.
Mamba said “we do not have Muslims here kaya walang problema as far as peace and order is concerned here.”
“Ang iresponsableng pahayag ni Gov. Manuel Mamba laban sa mga Muslim ay walang maidudulot na mabuti bagkus ito ay magdadagdag lamang ng kalituhan, pagpapahirap, pag-aabuso, panghuhusga at lalong magsanhi ng pagkahati-hati ng sambayanang Pilipino,” Com. Mando lamented.
Meanwhile, Hadji Abdurahman Pattaalam also lambasted Gov. Mamba for his anti-Muslim remarks.
Hadji Abdurahman, a Muslim leader from Parang, Sulu said the Cagayan governor should not generalized the Muslim Filipinos since as Muslims they are believers of Islamic faith that is a religion of peace and does not teach violent to its adherents. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL