Palace repeats support for national ID system
Malacañang on Tuesday reiterated its support for the implementation of a national identification (ID) card system in the Philippines, but it clarified that the proposal for a Muslim ID scheme was a local initiative.
“As the director of the PNP has already said, this is not a mandate coming from higher authorities,” Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, said in a press briefing.
Last week, the Central Luzon Provincial Police Office encouraged 200 Muslim leaders in the region to enforce a Muslim ID system to help in the documentation of barangays hosting evacuees from the strife-torn Marawi City.
But on Saturday, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)expressed alarm over the proposed identification system, saying that the move could be discriminatory against Muslims.
“We believe this policy clearly discriminates against the believers of Islam and could set a dangerous precedent,” the ARMM statement read.
In a press briefing last July 5, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), also negated the idea, saying: “It is discriminatory if you ask IDs from just one sector of society.”
“Our proposal is when we start checking identification of individuals, it should not be aimed at certain sectors of our society but it must be applicable to everyone,” he added.
In April, Abella said the national ID system was “being considered” by the government.
“”We’re not saying that we’re not supporting it (Muslim ID system), but the Palace’s position is that there should be a national ID,” he told reporters. –Winona S. Sadia, INQUIRER.net intern /atm
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