MANILA, Philippines – Although he is grateful that former Senator Leila de Lima is safe from the attempted hostage-taking at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center Sunday morning, October 9, Senator Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla is dismayed by the discrimination shown by several police officers who responded to the situation.
Padilla insisted that the use of the word “Muslim” to refer to those who attempted to take hostages is not correct and because of this, he called on the PNP leadership to have education on the use of the word Muslim.
“I am calling on the Philippine National Police to have education on the use of the word Muslim. This is discrimination when the police say the word Muslim. Let’s treat every Filipino equally,” he said on his Facebook account.
“When there is a kidnapper or a holdover or someone who kills someone, you don’t even say it is a Christian,” added the lawmaker.
Padilla pointed to the video circulating on social media where the responding police described the hostage-takers as “Muslims”.
He insisted that the word Muslim is not used to refer to a person especially in relation to crime or terrorism.
“It is good that you identify them not by their religion because religion has nothing to do with it. The law is shaped in the form of justice and enforced by the law enforcement officer. If the law enforcer judges a religion’s slogan, why is the blindfolded woman holding a scale?” he said.
Padilla called on PNP Chief P/Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. to educate his staff.
Meanwhile, Padilla emphasized that Muslims are praying for the recovery of the injured policeman and the continued safety of de Lima.
“Muslims are praying for the immediate recovery of the injured police hero and for the peace of mind and continued safety of former senator Leila de Lima,” he said. Ernie Reyes
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