PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday expressed his full support to the effort of the National Capital Region Police Office’s headed by Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas to further strengthen their partnership with the Muslim youth sector in Metro Manila thru the PNP’s Salaam Smart Policing program.
“ The PNP high command supports the initiative of NCRPO in reaching out to the Muslim youth sector in Metro Manila. 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,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Gamboa explained that 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,” he said.
The PNP chief likewise urged 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,” he said.
Sinas earlier dispelled suspicions they are ‘profiling’ Muslim students in Metro Manila with the activation of their Salaam Police Smart Policing program.
“I have learned that a memorandum document about the updated list of Muslim Students in High School, Colleges and Universities in Metro Manila garnered several reactions and opinions from our public.
To shed light on this matter, the memorandum is not about profiling but the statistics of Salaam Police Center on the number of Muslim High Schools and College students in Metro Manila in order to conduct interventions and programs in strengthening Salaam Police in partnership with the community,” the Metro Manila police chief said.
Sinas also emphasized that the “Philippine National Police fully support all the government’s peace initiatives and holds series of activities in Metro Manila as part of the strengthening of peace-building to counter violent extremism thru the PNP Directorate for Police- Community Relations’ Salaam Police Center.
“The Center was created to oversee the diverse cultural differences and concerns, especially in the aspect of safety and security. One of its functions 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,” he said.
Sinas also explained that the PNP continues to conduct ‘short ugnayan/dialogue, trainings, seminars and continuing education for our Muslim brothers to establish good rapport to the community.”