Duterte calls for unity as Muslims celebrate Eid’l Fitr

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2018 04:21 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2018 05:16 PM

Filipino Muslims attend prayer to mark Eid'l Fitr, the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, in Pikit town, North Cotabato on Friday. Manman Dejeto, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has called for unity among Filipinos as the country’s Muslim community celebrate Eid'l Fitr or the end of the holy month of fasting.

In his message, Duterte said Friday's celebration should “inspire us all to foster greater unity amidst our differences in faith and culture.”

“Together, let us engage in acts of charity as we steer our nation towards a more progressive and tolerant future,” he said. 

Duterte added that Eid’l Fitr was an opportune time to “reflect on the progress we have made to achieve long-lasting peace across the country, especially in Mindanao,” as the country worked on a deal to provide greater autonomy for Muslim Filipinos in the strife-torn region.

Most recently, Congress approved the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, a measure that seeks to help end decades of fighting in the south that was certified as urgent by Duterte, the first President from Mindanao. 

“May love and understanding prevail over our land as we work hard for the genuine transformation of the Philippines for every Filipino,” he said.

The President also said he is one with the Muslims in praising Allah for “providing our nation the strength to endure the challenges of misguided ideologies, terrorism and violent extremism.”

Mindanao just saw long-drawn conflict last year, when terrorists laid siege on Marawi City, a key commercial and urban hub. Five months of firefights left more than 1,000 dead, most of them terrorists, and hundreds of thousands displaced. 

Government is currently undertaking a massive rehabilitation effort in the devastated city. 

“I trust that the sacrifice of Muslim Filipinos during their month-long fasting has rekindled their faith and reawakened their sense of benevolence and empathy towards their fellowmen,” he added.