Photo courtesy of PTV

Sulu Governor urges AFP Chief to retract statement on Madrasa issue

Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan urged Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay to retract his statement last Tuesday on Madrasa issue suspecting the Islamic schools to have radicalization activities.  
“I join the various groups and individuals, in calling on Gen. Gapay to withdraw/retract his statement in reference to the Madrasa issue,” Tan said in a statement posted at the social media.

In a report posted at ABS-CBN news portal, Gapay said "We are looking now, coordinating with DepEd, looking into different schools, particularly in Sulu and other parts of Mindanao because it is one of the institutions or areas where recruitment is occurring, particularly in the youth (sector)."

The Sulu governor said, “I do agree that to have come from no less than the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, saying that Islamic Schools in the country can be possible hotbeds of terrorism or to link Madrasa to terrorism, is both absurd and uncalled for.”

“Indeed such statements coming from a supposedly high and responsible officer of the Armed Forces, is not one we expect from a respectable officer and a gentleman. We are certain that the good General have no ill intent,” he added.

Tan said, “I cannot blame Muslims if they harbor resentment and disappointment that the specter of profiling and typecasting of people based on their faith, still lingers in the midst.” 

He pointed out that Madrasas is where Muslim children had their first foundation of good morals based on Islam as a religion of peace.