Political rights may be compromised if the government will push through with the proposed Muslim ID system, says Commission on Election (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.
“That ID required for Muslims will have consequences on their political rights. It will discourage them to run for office in the local governments, or discourage them from voting. It’s tagging,” she said.
The statement was made due to a circulating information that there are proposal for an exclusive ID as a strategy to fight against terrorism and support national security measures.
Affirming Guanzon’s stand, fellow commissioner Luie Guia tweeted, “Seriously, religion is not necessary to identify a person so it need not be in a voter’s ID,” Guia added.
Malacañang clarified on Tuesday, July 11 that the proposal did not come from the national authorities, and were from local authorities.
“The Palace’s position is really for a national ID. So I think we should leave it at that—for a national ID,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.
“I think the—that particular ethnic-centered ID was really a local initiative…the palace’s position is that there should be a national ID,” the presidential spokesman said.
“Nobody’s pushing for that, OK? As the good director of PNP (Philippine National Police) has already said, this is not a mandate coming from higher authorities,” Abella added.
Further, two Muslim groups in Tarlac — Paniqui United Muslims Association (Puma) and the United Muslims Association of Tarlac City (Umat), devised their own ID system, defending that it was their initiatives, and were not introduced nor imposed by local officials or the police.
“It’s ongoing,”Misangcad Datumaas of Puma said to Inquirer when asked about the status of the ID system in Paniqui town. Jabbar Abdul, coordinator of Ubat gave the same answer when the Inquirer reached him by the telephone on Tuesday.
The Tarlac ID system is the “best practice that can be replicated in [the region],” Inquirer reported, citing an earlier statement of Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Central Luzon police director.