MANILA-- Top officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday opposed the proposal to issue identification cards to Muslims amid the ongoing crisis in Marawi City.
Commissioner Rowena Guanzon believe the measure is discriminatory towards Muslims.
"That is discrimination and will lead to prejudice, unlawful treatment. They are citizens of the Republic of the Philippines just like the rest of us. Local Government Units should improve police work and intel instead," she said in her Twitter account, @commrguanzon.
The poll body official added, "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."
Guanzon noted that the certifications being issued to Marawi residents are given to all registered voters.
"They are certifications and valid as temporary Voter's ID but all registered voters of Marawi can get that. Not Muslims only. Kahit ano religion," she explained.
For his part, Commissioner Luie Guia added that the rights of the people to participate in polls are not based on their race, religion, status.
"Suffrage rights do not distinguish race, sex, language, religion, political opinion, social origin, property, birth or other status," he said in his Twitter account, @ltfguia.
"Seriously, religion is not necessary to identify a person so it need not be in a Voter's ID," he added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has earlier opposed the plan to issue identification cards to Muslims which was suggested by the Philippine National Police in Central Luzon.
The proposal is for authorities to identify people connected to terrorists.
Source: Philippine News Agency