Citing security reasons, the mayor of Davao city, Philippines, has asked female Muslim citizens to refrain from wearing hijabs or burqas that cover their full faces and prevents identification in public places. Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, insisted that the measure will help prevent attacks similar to the 2 September night market blast at Roxas avenue.
The mayor's remarks came amid ongoing investigation into the deadly blast that left at least 15 dead and over 70 injured, some of whom are still in a critical condition. The city police have already released a sketch of the prime suspect and have also filed an official murder complaint against the person, whom the police claimed to have identified.
"It would be a good security practice to disallow garments that cover the faces in public places," the mayor reportedly said in a written statement issued on Thursday (15 September) in the wake of the ongoing investigation. Police are reportedly hunting for suspects seen in CCTV footage wearing face masks.
"These garments include hats, sunglasses, face masks, mouth masks, burqa, face paint, and other similar things," the Agence France Presse quoted the mayor as stating in the guidance.
Acknowledging that the practice would be against Muslim traditions, she said: "May I suggest that you wear the hijab which shows your face or cooperate with the security personnel and show your face if you are wearing the burqa.
"The general welfare of the majority takes precedence over religious tradition. While it is true that these garments are not disallowed by law, we discourage their use in public places," the mayor reportedly added.
The mayor has declared a huge cash reward for anyone who provides information about the blast suspects or catches the culprits alive.