Maranao troops pray at Marawi mosque for first time since clashes began

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2017 09:13 PM

Twenty-three Maranao soldiers and police officers pray together at Masjid Saad Huzam Almusairi in Lilod, Marawi City on Friday noon. Courtesy of Western Mindanao Command

Maranao soldiers and police officers prayed together at a mosque in Marawi City for the first time since clashes erupted in May.

Twenty-three Maranao troops came together to pray Salat al-Jamaat at Masjid Saad Huzam Almusairi in Lilod on Friday.

Twenty Muslim members of the Philippine National Police and three members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines participated in the prayer, the Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) said in a statement.

Twenty-three Maranao soldiers and police officers pray together at Masjid Saad Huzam Almusairi in Lilod, Marawi City on Friday noon. Courtesy of Western Mindanao Command

"It is appropriate that we allow our Muslim brothers time to pray and ask for good guidance from Allah especially that the situation now is critical," said Police Senior Superintendent Rolando Anduyan, commander of the Joint Task Group PNP.

WESMINCOM Commander Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said the military continues to encourage troops to practice their religious beliefs even in times of war.

"As much as time allows it, we permit our troops to practice their religious beliefs since it is also where most of them get their strength and motivation," Galvez said.

The prayer was led by Police Superintendent Ebra M. Moxsir, an Imam.

"Tatlong buwan na ang nakalipas matapos sumiklab ang krisis dito sa siyudad ng Marawi. Dahil sa pangyayaring ito, marami sa atin ang nawalan at nadismaya, ngunit ang pagdadasal ng mataimtim at pagkakaisa nating mga Muslim ay mahalaga upang ating malabanan ang terorismo," Moxsir said.

A "baital," a Maranao term for a mosque donation box, was also recovered by police. Courtesy of Western Mindanao Command

Police on Friday also recovered a "baital," a Maranao term for a mosque donation box, which originally belongs to the Islamic Center.

The baital was empty when it was found at Norhaya Village, Marawi City. Authorities believe terrorists forcibly opened the box and took its contents.