Manila Fifth District Rep. Amado Bagatsing has boosted his mayoral bid with the help of Manila’s Muslim community, which endorsed his candidacy on Saturday.
No less than Sheik Amir Datu Jularab, the Royal Grand Imam in the country, led the endorsement which was witnessed by five more Imams or priests.
“We believe in the sincerity of Congressman Bagatsing. We trust him so much,” Jularab said.
A mixed group of Muslims and Christians have also vouched for the lawmaker’s bid to succeed former President Joseph Estrada as mayor of Manila in the May 2016 elections.
The group Alamat or Alyansang Aakbay sa Makabagong Tagumpay, an umbrella organization of 13 Muslim tribes and 82 associations, is one of the biggest.
“We supported Mayor Joseph Estrada in 2013 but, after the death of Sultan Alimudin, nothing happened to us,” said Manuel Diño, an engineer and the chairman of Alamat (which means legend in English).
“We are discontented with Estrada. After the elections, we did not hear from him again,” Diño added.
Muslims communities supporting Bagatsing are those in Baseco, San Andres Bukid and Quiapo.
Bagatsing thanked his Muslim supporters.
He vowed to set up an Office of Muslim Affairs if he wins the race to City Hall and to lobby the Department of Education to put up an elementary school right in Quiapo.
“This elementary school will help preserve and propagate the Muslim culture. The community is growing, so there is a need to give them the right attention so their beliefs and practices are preserved,” Bagatsing said.