Senator Robin ‘Abdul Aziz’ Padilla Says His Hand Gesture a Nod to His Faith

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By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 | Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — SciTech and Digital News

(SDN) — At the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on July 24, Sen. Robinhood “Abdul Aziz” C. Padilla was seen with a hand gesture that baffled observers.

His hand gesture at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City, Metro Manila, showed the senator putting his close right hand over his heart, with his index finger pointing upwards.

Padilla’s hand gesture caught the eyes of many and received attention in various social media platforms.

The senator defended his action, saying it was an acknowledgment of his faith.

It can be recalled that Padilla embraced Islam when he was still serving his sentence as a detainee at Bilibid Prisons Sampaguita Minimum Security Facility for illegal possession of firearms. He took the name Abdul Aziz (Servant of the Mighty in English).

The popular movie actor, the “Bad Boy” of Philippine cinema, embraced Islam on January 26, 1996, after observing the prayers of and talking to other detainees who were Muslims. This journalist and other Muslims were present and witnessed when Padilla married his first wife Liezel Sicangco in 1996 in Islamic rites at the Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila.

Sen. Robin Padilla with his hand gesture. His index finger is a symbol of the Oneness of God (Allah in Arabic). (Credit: Interaksyon via RTVM)

Below is a statement of the senator sent by his office to SDN — SciTech and Digital News.

It is a show of my Islamic faith. Sen. Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla thus defended on Wednesday the “Kalima La ilaha ilalah” hand gesture he showed during the signing of the Philippine National Anthem.

Padilla, in a meeting with visitors from Malaysia, said he values his faith over everything else, adding he had shown this gesture every time he sings the National Anthem.

“I always do the ‘Kalima La ilaha ilalah’ with my hand here. Why can’t you do that? I would rather resign than somebody telling me I cannot (practice) my faith,” he said, referring to the hand gesture that asserts the oneness of God.

He added: “I will never, never exchange my faith to be a politician.”

On Monday, Padilla got online attention for his hand gesture during the singing of the National Anthem before President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivered his second State of the Nation Address.

According to Padilla, he is willing to resign his political post than allow someone to tell him he cannot practice his faith.

“If I will not be successful in pushing for a federal parliamentary form of government, I’d rather be an imam, I’d rather go to Malaysia and study the Koran than be a senator,” he added. (✓)

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