Davao city mayor discourages wearing burqa, face masks in public

DAVAO CITY – In line with security initiatives following the September 2 bombing in this town’s night market that killed 15 and injured more than sixty others, Davao city Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio discouraged the use of Burqa in public places.

Burqa is an enveloping outer cloth worn by Muslim women covering from the top of the head to the ground to cover their bodies when in public.

In a statement on Thursday (Sept 15), Duterte said, “The law enforcement officers have expressed their opinion that it would be a good security practice to disallow garments that cover the faces in public places. These garments include hats, sunglasses, face masks, mouth masks, burqa, face paint, and other similar things.”

Duterte said she understands the sentiments of the Muslim women, however she said, “the general welfare of the majority takes precedence over religious tradition.”

The town mayor acknowledges that wearing these garments covering the faces is not prohibited by law, however they discourage their use in public places.

Duterte further suggested to Muslim women to wear hijab which shows their faces or cooperate with the security personnel and show their faces if they are wearing Burqa.

The Davao City Police Office also expressed its willingness to have dialogue with the Muslim leaders in the city on the implementation of the checking of burqas of Muslim women in public areas.

The proposed dialogue also seeks to draw suggestion on how the security personnel will carry out the inspection on Muslim women wearing burqas.