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Quiapo leaders prepare action plan after blasts

Muslim leaders in Quiapo district vowed to cooperate with Manila Police District (MPD) in fighting criminality and maintaining peace and order in their community following separate blasts that killed two people and wounded 13 others last week.

MPD Director Joel Coronel said that the dialogue with Presidential Adviser on OFW and Muslim Concerns Abdullah Mamao and several Muslim elders at the Islamic Center ended with all parties agreeing to draft a plan of action that aims to prevent a repeat of the incident and preserve peace and order in Quiapo.

“We agreed on a system of info-sharing and at the same time, they would provide us assistance when we conduct police operations in their community,” Coronel said.

On the part of the police, he assured that they will take extra precautions when doing law enforcement work at the Islamic Center so as not to cause inconvenience to the residents.

“Ang pinaka-concern nila, naha-harass daw ang mga kababayan nila during police operations,” Coronel said, quoting the Muslim leaders.

Details of the agreement will be further discussed and finalized in another meeting on Tuesday, May 16, at the City Hall, that will be presided by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and attended by Islamic Center leaders, barangay officials and other stakeholders, according to Coronel.

The last time police conducted a major operation at the Filipino-Islamic community in Quiapo was on October 7 last year, where seven drug suspects were slain and 200 others were arrested in a “one time, big time” anti-drug drive.
One of those killed was then incumbent Barangay 648 Chairman Faiz Macabato who fought it out with policemen who were serving an arrest warrant to his brother, a drug suspect.

Coronel also said he received orders from Estrada not to relax security measures in and around the Quiapo Church and the Golden Mosque.

“The Mayor’s marching order is to maintain security measures sa Quiapo area, and more importantly to the surrounding environment like Quiapo Church, the Golden Mosque, and all places of worships, ‘di lang Christians but also Muslims and other religions,” he said. (JAIMIE ROSE R. ABERIA)