MUSLIM leaders in Quiapo threw their support behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, as they declared the area surrounding the Manila Golden Mosque and Cultural Center “drug-free”.
Hajji Moh’d Ersad Malli gave this assurance to Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada on Wednesday.
“Nu’ng nangyari ‘yung pambomba ay lalong tumibay ang relationship ng Muslim community at ng Manila City Hall sa pamumuno ni Mayor Erap,” said Malli, referring to the twin explosions last May 6 that resulted in the deaths of two people and injuries to 20 others.
(When the bombings happened, the relationship between the Muslim community and Manila City Hall strengthened under the leadership of Mayor Erap.)
The Manila Police District (MPD) has concluded that the attacks were not terror-related.
Estrada and Chief Supt. Joel Coronel of the Manila Police immediately worked out a joint security arrangement to protect the community and the entire city from a possible spillover of violence from Mindanao and other security threats after the Marawi City siege last May 23.
“Mahalaga talaga ‘yung ugnayan at pag-uusap. Ngayon nga ay bumalik na ang peace and order (Communication is vital. Now, peace and order is back),” Malli said.
The recent observance of the holy month of Ramadan was generally peaceful, with thousands of visitors trooping to the Golden Mosque during “Tarawih”, the Muslim equivalent of the Christians’ Simbang Gabi or evening mass during Christmas.
“We thought only a few people would attend the Tarawih prayers, but many showed up, including those who came from Pasig City, Fairview in Quezon City, and other places,” said Malli.
Malli said Quiapo Muslims were condemning the Marawi siege, saying they are peace-loving people.
Several Marawi residents sought refuge in Manila and Estrada made sure that they were taken care of, including the enrollment of their children in Manila public schools. JAIME R. PILAPIL