Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Army commander opens camp for Muslims to celebrate Eid'l Fitr

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): Army commander opens camp for Muslims to celebrate Eid'l Fitr

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao -- Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, based here has opened the military's predominantly Christian Army division for an Eid’l Fitr congregational prayer Wednesday.

Maguindanao local officials and Muslim Religious Leaders (MRL) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were elated with 6th ID’s gesture.

Captain Joann Petinglay, 6th ID spokesperson, said it is first time for the division to host an outdoor Eid congregational prayer for Muslims from around the camp and nearby towns.

The 6th ID covers the Muslim-dominated Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur provinces as well as predominantly-Christian provinces of North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

“We have 800 Muslim soldiers in the division and our commander wants to show to them that religions should not set boundaries among us. We are all siblings, believing in one God,” Petinglay told reporters.

Pangilinan, who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1983, was deputy commander for the southern peace process of the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City before he assumed as 6th ID commander.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the Eid’l Fitr initiative of 6th ID, whose officers are mostly Christians, will convince the Bangsamoro people of its desire to attain genuine peace in its area of assignment.

“It’s something so laudable. Worthy of emulation by other major military units in the autonomous region,” Hataman said.

Pangilinan has said the 6th ID recognizes the importance of interfaith camaraderie among its Muslim and non-Muslim personnel.

“It will help ensure the efficiency of our peace and development programs for all sectors, the Christians, the Muslims and the Lumad people inside our area of responsibility,” Pangilinan said who also gathers soldiers and their families inside the camp during Christmas season.

The Eid’l Fitr marks the culmination of the month-long Ramadan fasting season.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.


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