(Statement of Rep. Yasser Alonto Balindong, 2nd district of Lanao del Sur, on the alleged illegal violation of domicile and arrest of Muslim residents during the celebration of Independence Day on June 12, 2020)
As a Muslim Congressman, I call on all concerned agencies of the government to conduct immediate investigation on the alleged illegal violation of domicile and arrest of Muslims residents in Amatista, San Andres Bukid, Manila on June 12, 2020 as the country was celebrating its 122nd Independence Day.
A video footage of the incident taken by onlookers shows that a group of people purportedly members of the Philippine National Police had entered the residence of a Muslim family in the country’s capital. According to witnesses, the said personalities forced their way into the house of the Muslim family without coordinating with barangay officials regarding their operation. They also refused to show their identification documents and were not armed with any search warrant nor warrant of arrest. Some neighbors also discovered that the license plate of the vehicle used by these individuals was superimposed with a paper printed with a different plate number.
The suspected individuals were looking for the vault and jewelries of the family. They also took the cellphones of those in the house. The stalemate lasted for more than five hours without these individuals having satisfactorily shown the legality of their action even as concerned neighbors were already gathering outside the targeted residence.
In the midst of this health pandemic, Muslim communities are worried about their security and possible violations of their basic human rights.
I therefore urge all concerned agencies of the government to come together and perform a Bayanihan act to heal our people as one not only in the interest of health but also in protecting the security of our Muslim brothers and sisters.