Parade and Review. Philippine Military Cadets on a Parade and Review at the Borromeo field, Saturday (Aug. 10) despite the gloomy weather to give honour to the 40th Anniversary of the PMA Host Parent Association. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

The 43 Cordillera honor graduate scholars of DOST - SEI in a group photo session. (Photo by DOST - CAR)

CHED Chairperson Prospero De Vera III (left) joined by CHED - CAR OIC Regional Director Ma. Geraldine Casipit (2nd from left) and officials from the different SUCs and premier universities in Cordillera answer queries in an open forum during the Regional Higher Education Summit. (CCD/PIA CAR)

TESDA at 25. TESDA - CAR officials headed by Regional Director Manuel Wong with partners from DOLE, DTI and Baguio PESO, in a Kapihan media forum, promotes the scheduled activities for TESDA's 25th Anniversary that will be highlighted by the

PMA Host Parent Assn at 40. PMA Host Parent Association officials headed by chairperson and former Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan with Guest of Honor and Speaker Mayor Benjamin Magalong and PMA officials give recognition to their Pioneer members who started the foster a cadet program in 1979, during the t 40th Anniversary of the PMA Host Parent Association, Saturday. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

TESDA at 25. TESDA - CAR Regional Director Manuel Wong and DTI Baguio - Benguet Director Freda Gawisan leads other partners from DOLE and Baguio PESO, in a Kapihan media forum, to promote the scheduled activities for TESDA's 25th Anniversary that will be highlighted by the

Parade and Review. Philippine Military Cadets on a Parade and Review at the Borromeo field, Saturday (Aug. 10) despite the gloomy weather to give honour to the 40th Anniversary of the PMA Host Parent Association. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

TESDA@25. Bartending students from the Baguio City School of Arts and Trade gives a demonstration on wine mixing during the TESDA - CAR led Kapihan media forum for the promotion of the scheduled activities for TESDA's 25th Anniversary that will be highlighted by the

TESDA@25. Bartending students from the Baguio City School of Arts and Trade gives a demonstration on wine mixing during the TESDA - CAR led Kapihan media forum for the promotion of the scheduled activities for TESDA's 25th Anniversary that will be highlighted by the

Muslims offer to guard churches in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY—Churchgoers were surprised on Sunday morning when Muslims joined them for a Mass at the Baguio Cathedral, a site popular among residents and tourists.

Muslims offer to guard churches in Baguio

SOLIDARITY MESSAGE Outside the Baguio Cathedral, churchgoers’ attention on Sunday was drawn to tarpaulins showing messages against extremists and terrorists. “We are here to stand side by side with them against terrorism,” said Imam Samsodin Monib, president of the Baguio Muslim Community. —VINCENT CABREZA

Sunday was also Eid al-Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice), but leaders of the local Islamic community spent the day securing the church in light of a leaked military report about terror plans targeting churches and pilgrimage sites in northern Luzon.

“We want to assure our Baguio neighbors we are not here to harm anyone. We are here to stand side by side with them against terrorism,” said Imam Samsodin Monib, president of the Baguio Muslim Community

The offer of the Muslim community included guarding all churches in Baguio, joining police patrols and securing religious centers.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the idea of protecting churches came from the Islamic leaders after a military memorandum dated Aug. 2 was accidentally made public online.

According to the memo, extremists may target “Crusader Churches (a term the Islamic State [IS] terrorist group uses for Catholic churches)” in Laoag City in Ilocos Norte province, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur province, Manaoag town in Pangasinan province, and Tuguegarao City in Cagayan province.

Churchgoers who attended Mass at the Our Lady of Manaoag Church, another popular pilgrimage site, were guarded by three teams of policemen and soldiers.

The security measures were not meant to alarm residents, according to the town’s mayor, Kim Amador.

The threat spread fast through social media, but Amador assured the public that no evidence had been uncovered so far to indicate an attack was imminent.

Pangasinan police also formed a council composed of Muslim policemen and tasked with analyzing information regarding terrorism and illegal drugs, said Police Lt. Col. Abubakar Mangelen Jr., Dagupan police chief.

“If they put themselves in the shoes of the terrorists, where will they be, where is their point of entry, how will they camouflage themselves, what are the areas where they will hide?” Mangelen said

The police council will coordinate with the Pangasinan Muslim Association.

Magalong said the memorandum from the military’s Northern Luzon Command was authentic, but the contents were still being validated.

Muslims in Baguio will be the first to respond “if extremists attack your church and our church,” Monib told parishioners after the Mass at the cathedral.

Between 8,000 and 10,000 Muslims, half of them Baguio residents and registered voters, would “bleed like Christians” should an attack prove successful, he said.

“If our left part of the body is hurt, won’t the right side hurt, too? If our toes are injured, won’t our eyes tear up?” Monib said.

“Whatever you now feel … Anxiety? Terror? We Baguio Muslims have the same fears,” he said, adding: “With the threat of terrorism, too many accusations have been hurled about Muslims.”

“So we stand before you today to express our sincerity … God created everyone to be the same,” Monib said.

Real enemy

Outside the cathedral, people’s attention was drawn to tarpaulin signs showing messages against extremists and terrorists.

One banner said: “The enemy is not Muslim or Christian. The real enemy is Extremism.”

Another said, “[IS] is not Islam. Terrorism has no religion,” while a third said, “Nagkakaisa Muslims at Christians laban sa terorismo (Muslims and Christians united against terrorism).”

“Terrorism will prevail if we let fear get the better of us, and continue to sow wrong information,” Amador said. “We ask everyone to unite, to be watchful of any suspicious activities, things, or activities, and immediately notify any police station.”

Mayor Magalong said residents should start watching their surroundings because “Sept. 11 is fast approaching and [that date] is significant when we talk about terrorism.”

On Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaida terrorists hijacked commercial planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Close to 3,000 people died.

“We cannot wait. We cannot just be complacent. In Israel, when a package is left unattended, this is immediately reported. We encourage parishioners to do the same,” Magalong said.

By: Vincent Cabreza, Yolanda Sotelo

 

Baguio

  • CHED calls on CAR HEIs' support for successful UAQTEA implementation

    BAGUIO CITY, Aug. 15 (PIA) - - The Commission on Higher Education(CHED)  calls for a stronger partnership with Cordillera stakeholders for the successful implementation of Republic Act 10931 and in ensuring that more young people will have equitable access to free quality tertiary education.

  • DOST honor graduate scholars in Cordillera feted

    BAGUIO CITY, Aug. 16 (PIA) - - The Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera Regional Office (DOST-CAR) feted 43 honor   graduate scholars for their excellent academic achievements.

  • Muslims offer to guard churches in Baguio

    BAGUIO CITY—Churchgoers were surprised on Sunday morning when Muslims joined them for a Mass at the Baguio Cathedral, a site popular among residents and tourists.

  • Window hours set for Kennon Road residents only

    BAGUIO CITY, Aug 9 (PIA) -- Despite the closure of Kennon Road, the Cordillera Region Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CRDRRMC) has set window hours to allow residents to pass through the landslide affected area in Barangay Camp 6, Sitio Camp 5 in Tuba, Benguet.

  • PIA develops strategic communications curriculum for PMA

    BAGUIO CITY, Aug. 9 (PIA) -- The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) explored areas of cooperation on developing a curriculum on communication and public information for the Academy.

Benguet

Mt. Province

  • Healthy mom and baby, cooking contests mark Nutri Month

    BONTOC, Mountain Province, Aug. 6(PIA) -- To raise community awareness and to inculcate health and nutrition habits for children at an early age for healthy living, the provincial government conducted Healthy Mother and Child   and cooking contests in celebration of this year’s Nutrition Month.

  • Provincial livelihood program benefits more individuals

    BONTOC, Mountain Province, July 22 (PIA) -- The Provincial Livelihood Program (PLP) of the Provincial Government here continues to provide livelihood assistance to qualified individuals in the province.

  • PCSO, PLGU provide free assistive devices to PWDs in Mt. Province

    BONTOC, Mountain Province, July 22 (PIA) -- The provincial government through the Provincial Persons with Disability Affair Office (PDAO) has partnered with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and MVRN Prosthesis Center in helping orthopedic persons with disabilities acquire the appropriate assistive devices.

  • Mt. Province officials vow to work together for a common goal

    BONTOC, Mountain Province, July 8 (PIA) --Inspired by the fresh mandate given by the electorate in the province, the newly elected provincial officials publicly announced during their oathtaking to put aside politics and vowed to work hand in hand with one common goal- to move this province forward. 

  • MP sectors one skedy resolution of murder of 3 Besao youths

    Bontoc, Mountain Province – Members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council put their full weight for the speedy resolution of the killing of three natives of Agawa, Besao who reportedly went to hunt and fish but were found dead days later along the Lakanga creek within the vicinity of Baclingayan, a sitio of Tabacda, Tubo, Abra.

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