TAGUIG CITY, July 21, 2020 — Leaders of Muslim communities from across the country on Tuesday expressed gratitude to former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for the lawmaker’s assistance to Filipino Muslims since before the pandemic.
During the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program on July 20 in celebration of this year’s Eid al-Adha, local leaders of Zamboanga City, Pagadian City, Cagayan de Oro City, North Cotabato, Manila City, and Maharlika Village in Taguig thanked the former Speaker on behalf of their respective constituents.
“On behalf of the 27 mosques at 9 Muslim communities dito po sa (here in) Maynila, maraming-marami salamat po (thank you very much) for believing in us, for believing in proper representation, for believing in women empowerment at sa kakayahan po ng ating mga (and in the abilities of the) Muslim community,” Shey Sakuran Mohammad, Chief of Muslim Affairs at the Manila City Hall, said.
The leaders said Cayetano’s assistance renews their constituents’ hope in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Tayo hong mga minority, ‘wag po tayong bumitaw dahil may mga taong tulad ho ng ating dating Speaker Alan na tumutulong po. Pagbutihin po natin [ang ating mga gawain],” Taguig City 2nd District Councilor Yasser Pangandaman said, recalling how Cayetano served as his “guide” ever since his stint as barangay chairman.
(To all the minorities, let us not give up because there are people like former Speaker Alan who are willing to help. Let us do our best in whatever we need to do.)
Hareem Pautin, Barangay Chairman of Maharlika Village in Taguig City, recalled how he, as a junior to his Sultan grandfather, witnessed Cayetano’s support to the villagers and all Muslims across the country.
“Hindi niya po kami nakakalimutan hindi lang sa ayuda kundi pati po sa mga ongoing project na malapit na pong matapos,” Pautin said.
(He never forgot us not only in terms of cash assistance but of ongoing government projects.)
Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co and Barangay 17, Cagayan de Oro Chairman Goldmar Ebabacol said their constituents find a measure of hope in receiving continued support from a member of the House of Representatives.
“Hindi po namin ito makakalimutan kasi alam po naming parati pong nasa isip at puso po ni Congressman Alan Cayetano ang mga taga-Cagayan de Oro na matulungan sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan,” Ebabacol said.
(We will never forget this because we know that helping us, the people of Cagayan de Oro, meet our basic needs is in the heart and mind of Congressman Alan Cayetano.)
The former Speaker, for his part, thanked all the public officials who have made it possible for the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program to extend help to Filipinos all over the country, regardless of religion, gender, or political views.
“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa lahat ng po ng public officials, marami diyan po hindi ko kapartido, but we don’t look at our political values — ang tinitingnan namin ‘yung constituents natin pare-parehong kailangan ng tulong,” he said.
(I am thankful to all the public officials, despite many of them not being my partymates, who don’t look at our political values but at our constituents who are equally in need of our help.)
He appealed to the public to do the same, noting how people of Marawi, who found refuge in Taguig City, have experienced lack of opportunities and discrimination.
“Sa ating mga Pilipino, ‘wag mong tingnan na ‘yan ay atheist, ‘yan ay Kristiyano, ito Catholic-Christian, ito Evangelical, ito po ay Muslim — dapat ang tingin natin, Pilipino lahat ‘yan, tulungan po natin lahat yan,” he said.
(To all our fellow Filipinos, let us not look at whether a person is an atheist, a Christian, a Catholic-Christian, an Evangelical, or a Muslim. Instead, we have to keep in mind that all of them are Filipinos, so we have to help all of them.)
Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar attested to Cayetano’s pronouncements.
“This is a very big support on the Feast of the Eid’l Adha. As one Muslim, IP, and Christian community, we would like to say muchas gracias (thank you very much),” Climaco-Salazar said as she thanked the lawmaker for the P10,000 in cash assistance distributed to her constituents.
The Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program was launched by Cayetano and his allies in Congress as part of their campaign to institutionalize the distribution of P10,000 in cash aid to every Filipino family amid the pandemic.
The proposal was a bid to help families purchase basic necessities and put up their own small businesses in response to the ongoing crisis.
The program has helped a total of 6,309 Filipino families since its launch on May 1, including the 465 newest beneficiaries.###