Muslims in Pangasinan vow to secure ranks

SOME 80 Muslim leaders gathered at the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office in Lingayen on Thursday where they vowed to strengthen their ranks to prevent any troublemakers, especially from Mindanao, from seeking sanctuary in Pangasinan.

In their dialogue with Philippine National Police officials led by provincial director, Senior Superintendent Ronald Oliver Lee, the Muslim leaders, including Imams and Ustadz affiliated with the Pangasinan Muslim Association, pledged to immediately report local presence of terrorists from Mindanao, even if they are their kin.

Those who came for the dialogue were from various Muslim communities in Pangasinan who expressed sadness over what is happening today in Mindanao, especially in Marawi City where fighting between government troopers and the Maute group is still raging.

During the dialogue, Datu Alan Maasir, president of the local Muslim association, called on their members not to invite relatives in Mindanao particularly those involved in crimes, including terrorism.

This is to ensure that the trouble in Mindanao will not spill over to Pangasinan or to any place in Luzon, he said.

Meanwhile, Lee said the dialogue was initiated by the Muslims themselves who seek peace not only in their communities but also in Mindanao where they came from.

While appealing to terrorists not to come to Pangasinan, the Muslim leaders vowed to organize themselves so that any new face in their respective communities will be immediately reported to the police.

Lee revealed a plan to organize Muslims in Pangasinan who will be in charge of securing their own communities, in coordination with the village and police officials. (PNA)