Manila opens Islamic cemetery, cultural hall inside public cemetery
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila City Government on Monday opened the Islamic cemetery and cultural hall within the Manila South Cemetery in San Andres district, almost a year after construction began to cater to the Muslim community in the city.
Mayor Isko Moreno led the opening ceremony of the 2,400-square meter cemetery for Muslims, for which some P49.3 million has been allocated for its construction.
In his speech, Moreno acknowledged that the lack of sufficient burial grounds has long been the predicament of Muslim settlers in the city, coupled with the Islamic belief that the body of their deceased should be buried within 24-hours after death.
“Iyong mga kababayan nating Muslim, kapag sumasakabilang buhay, natataranta, saan ba nila ililibing ang mahal nila sa buhay sa Maynila… Minsan kailangan pang dalhin sa Mindanao. Paano kung pobre, paano kung squatter? Wala namang pera, but they have to do it,” Moreno said during a speech in the inauguration of the facility.
(Our Muslim residents are always in quandary as to where they will bury the remains on their loved ones in Manila… Sometimes they even need to bring the body to Mindanao. What if they’re poor, what if they are from the slums? They have no money, but they have to do it.)
Moreno likewise apologized to the Muslim settlers for what he said was an oversight of the city government.
“This is yours, this is our offering and acceptance of our shortcomings as a city government,” he said.
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