Muslim lawmakers lauded Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and other local officials for establishing Muslim cemeteries in non-Muslim localities and provinces.
Lanao del Norte Rep. Khalid Dimaporo, chairman of the House Committee on Mindanao Affairs, said he wholeheartedly supports legislative measures that will help “fulfill the culture and religious needs of our Muslim communities” outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
In House Resolution No. 766, Lanao del Sur Rep. Ansaruddin Alonto Adiong, chairman of the House Committee on Muslim Affairs, expressed to Domagoso the appreciation and gratitude of Muslims for the passage of City Ordinance 8608 allocating P49.3 million for the development of the first Muslim cemetery in Manila.
On the other hand, Zambales Rep. Cheryl P. Deloso-Montalla filed House Bill 7184 proposing the establishment of a Muslim Filipino cemetery in her province.
Dimaporo welcomed the decision of local officials in urban localities where Muslim Filipinos have migrated.
“It’s a requirement in our faith to be buried within 24 hours of death, and very costly to bring the bodies of our loved ones back to Mindanao,” explained Dimaporo.
He added: “I believe that these bills will best benefit the lower income class families of Muslim families residing outside BARMM and second generation of migrant Muslims who may no longer have ties to Mindanao.”
Adiong said Manila has reserved a 2,400 square-meter lot to be “used exclusively for the interment and transfer of remains of deceased Muslim residents in Manila.”
City Ordinance 8608 also provides allocation for the construction of a Cultural Hall as well as the hiring of personnel who will maintain the Muslim cemetery.
“The signing of the ordinance is meant to acknowledge how firmly rooted Muslim Filipinos are in the nation’s capital and to pay tribute to their historical contributions even prior to the Spanish colonization,” stated Adiong.
In filing HB 7184, Montalla stressed the importance of allowing Muslim Filipinos to observe traditional rites to honor and bury their dead, “including funeral procession and mourning practices.”
“This proposed measure seeks to provide a common cemetery for Muslim Filipinos in Zambales by establishing a Muslim Filipino cemetery in the province to preserve the sanctity of Islam belief and culture of honoring their dead,” explained Montalla, chairperson of the House Committee on Revision of Laws.