MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila police chief Major General Debold Sinas recalled Friday, February 21, a three-week-old memorandum ordering cops in the city of Manila to submit a list of the names of Muslim students in high schools, colleges, and universities.
Though in his statement Friday, Sinas said he directed the recall order to Manila Police District (MPD) chief Brigadier General Bernabe Mendoza Balba, the leaked MPD memorandum revealed that the listing was part of a broader effort in the entire National Capital Region.
The memorandum was leaked by the progressive group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), which slammed the profiling as Islamophobic.
Sinas said in his statement that he would "make the representation to (the) Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) to reconsider their directive."
On Thursday, February 20, Sinas said the profiling was done to help police work with the Muslim community better.
"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," he said.
He said the singling out of Muslim students was only for statistics as required by the DPCR Salaam Police Center.
ACT chairperson Joselyn Martinez said in a statement the profiling was "deplorable" and "that the (police) would want to target these young Muslim students to supposedly counter violent extremism, which is short of saying that Muslims are more likely to become extremists or terrorists."
ACT also called on the Department of Education to prevent the Philippine National Police from gathering personal information of students and teachers. – Rappler.com