Cagayan gov apologizes for equating absence of Muslims with peace and order | Inquirer News

Cagayan gov apologizes for equating absence of Muslims with peace and order

/ 06:58 AM November 26, 2020
Great flood in Cagayan: A case of unclear communication?

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba

MANILA, Philippines — Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba associated the supposed lack of Muslims in his province with the peace and order prevailing there during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Mamba apologized, however, after his remarks angered Filipino Muslims, with a spokesperson of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) calling his statement “not only discriminatory” but also “unbecoming of an elected official.”


The governor made his statement as the Senate public works committee conducted a hearing on the massive flooding in Luzon provinces, including Cagayan, following recent typhoons.

Mamba had proposed dredging the Cagayan River.


“There was never a super body who will take care of the Cagayan River basin…If we dredge the river, restore the Cagayan River to its old glory, I think Cagayan and the North will enjoy so much advantage as far as the economic activity of Luzon is concerned,” he said.

He then added, speaking partly in Filipino: “We do not have Muslims here. We have no problem as far as peace and order is concerned here.”

But in a Facebook post late Wednesday, NCMF spokesperson Jun Alonto Datu Ramos said Mamba “needs to rethink his statement and issue an apology for the Muslims everywhere, not just in the Philippines.”

“To categorically state that the absence of one group of people ensures peace and order in a locality is not only discriminatory, it is also unbecoming of an elected official who supposedly represents the Cagayan residents,” he said.

“Maybe someone else can see another perspective to his Freudian slip? I surely can’t,” he added.

‘Who would ever think that way except bigots?’

Mamba’s remarks also received criticism from Bangsamoro Transition Authority member Zia Alonto Adiong.


Adiong reminded Mamba that Muslims are “everywhere.”

“There are Muslim diplomats, Muslim businessmen, Muslim doctors, Muslim scientists, Muslim inventors, Muslim academicians, Muslim legislators and so on. You name it, we have it,” Adiong said.

“We even have Muslim heads of state. There are also Muslims of various nationalities and race. And yes, we do have Muslim Governors doing exactly the same job as Gov. Mamba. I have a surprise for you, Governor, we’re everywhere!” he added.

Further, Adion said Mamba should not be “scared” because “we do have Muslim policemen and soldiers as well to keep us all safe and protected.”

“What we do not have are officials who think that a presence of other religious groups is a problem to the peace and order situation in our areas, because, seriously, who would ever think that way except bigots?” he added.

The governor later apologized through the Cagayan Provincial Information Office.


Posted by Cagayan Provincial Information Office on Wednesday, November 25, 2020

“Buong pagpapakumbaba na humihingi ng paumanhin si Gov. Manuel Mamba sa anumang hindi magandang pagtanggap sa pahayag nito sa Senate Committee Hearing…na ‘walang Muslim sa Cagayan kaya maganda ng kalagayan ng peace and order situation sa lalawigan’,” the information office said in a statement on Facebook.

“Nililinaw po ni Gov. Mamba na ang ibig niyang tukuyin ay ‘walang paniniwalang extremism sa mga kapatid na Muslim na naninirahan sa Cagayan’,” he added.


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TAGS: discrimination against Muslims, Manuel Mamba, Muslims, Peace and Order
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