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MANILA, Philippines -- The Aquino administration sent “greetings of solidarity to all our Muslim-Filipino brothers and sisters” who started observing the holy month of Ramadan beginning Friday.
For its part, the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Western Mindanao said it will respect the observance of one of Islam’s sacred pillar and would guard communities and continue to address security concerns.
Ramadan ends on Saturday, August 18.
“The coming weeks shall be dedicated to the solemn fulfillment of the tenets of your spirituality, demanding great sacrifice and due discipline, as an act of surrender to Allah, the beneficent, and all merciful,” Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Friday.
“These are times when your government has been working with all people of goodwill, to restore trust and confidence in our vital institutions. May we all be filled with this spirit of cooperation, respect, and confidence as we seek the path of peace,” he added.
Lt. Col. Erwin Alea, commander of the 4th Civil Relations Group of the AFP, said: “Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and worship where Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. Traditionally, they refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and from irreligious sights and sounds from dawn to sunset, hence, the AFP gives due consideration to its members of Islam faith to revere and observe solemnly this occasion.”
Vice President Jejomar Binay also issued a statement praying or strength and resilience for Filipino Muslims, and describing Ramadan as "a period not only of sacrifice and worship for our Muslim brethren, but also of celebration and unity."
Muslims, added Binay, are given "an opportunity to reflect on their lives and find that their faith can only be strengthened by this sacrifice."