DAVAO CITY— City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio discouraged Muslim women from wearing burqas in public places and suggested that they should wear hijab to show their faces for easier identification by authorities.
“The law enforcement officers have expressed their opinion that it would be a good security practice to disallow garments that cover the faces in public places. These garments include hats, sunglasses, face masks, mouth masks, burqa, face paint, and other similar things,” Duterte said in a statement on Thursday, September 15.
She said she understands the sentiments of the Muslim women but she added that “the general welfare of the majority takes precedence over religious tradition.”
“May I suggest that you wear the hijab which shows your face or cooperate with the security personnel and show your face if you are wearing the burqa. While it is true that these garments are not disallowed by law, we discourage their use in public places,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) said it wishes to have a dialogue with the Muslim leaders in the city regarding the implementation of the checking of burqas of Muslim women in public places.
DCPO chief Senior Superintendent Michael John Dubria said they do not want to offend anyone while they ensure the safety of the city after the bombing incident on September 2 killed 15 people and injured at least 69.
He said they want to have a dialogue with the Muslim leaders on how to properly carry out the inspection on Muslim women wearing burqas.
He clarified that the DCPO will not ask Muslim women to remove their hijab and burqa in public during inspection. He said that he will deploy Muslim policewomen who are wearing hijab to do the inspection.
However, Dubria admitted that they only have a few Muslim policewomen. “But we will also deploy police women who are not Muslims,” he said.
Female security guards
Dubria added that he will also ask private agencies to deploy female security guards in the entrance and exit points of establishments.
Dubria also said he will make an arrangement with private establishments during inspections to avoid intimidation on the part of the Muslims. “That should be in a private room, everything can be arranged to inspect them,” he said.
In a press conference on Wednesday morning, September 15 Public Safety and Security Command Center chief, retired General Benito de Leon last Wednesday, said security forces will inspect even Muslim women who wear burqa for identification. (davaotoday.com)