Muslim public cemeteries for ARMM towns pushed

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COTABATO CITY: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) legislator Khadafe Mangudadatu has proposed a law that would push all towns of the region to establish public cemeteries to centralize and systematize the burial of Muslim corpses in the Southern Philippines.

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Muslim region comprising of more than 100 towns traditionally bury the corpse of their beloved ones to their privately owned farms and sometimes near to their homes.

Assemblyman Mangudadatu said the objective of the bill is to encourage local government units (LGU) of the autonomous region provide at least three hectares of land to centralized Muslim graveyards in their towns.

Mangudadatu, one of the 24 members of ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) representing Maguindanao’s second district, said he is confident that his co-legislatives will vote for its enactment, citing the absence of this systematic way of burial in the region.

ARMM, the mainland provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and the archipelagic Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu provinces, and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan, do not have public cemeteries for Muslims even before the early history of the Muslims in the Philippines.

The bill would provide Muslims in Mindanao a decent and sacred place for their beloved ones, said Mangudadatu, who is younger brother of Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.

He said his family is ready to donate a piece of land in their hometown Buluan to use it as Muslim burial even before the RLA can pass his proposed bill into law.

The bill was backed by the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos saying that this would be a big help to the Muslim communities in the Philippines.

In some Muslim developed countries, cemeteries are systematically designed into a clustered type, segregating children from adults, with geographic coordinates. MOH I. SAADUDDIN

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