Cops, soldiers in Mindanao warned against firing guns to celebrate Eid’l Fitr
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Army and police officials in mainland Mindanao have warned their subordinates they will be prosecuted if found firing their guns to welcome the end of fasting month on Tuesday.
Ustadz Jaafar Ali of the National Ulama Council of the Philippines said the Holy Quoran did not cite firing of guns as part of the revelry in welcoming the end of Ramadan.
Chief Superintendent Bienvenido Latag, police regional director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), has warned policemen that firing of guns during the revelry means removal from service.
Gun owners in Mindanao have a tradition of firing their guns before sunrise on Eid’l Fitr as part of their merry-making and to highlight their completion of a 30-day fasting.
Usually, it resulted in injuries to civilians hit by stray bullets.
Lawyer Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, Cotabato City administrator, has repeatedly appealed to residents to refrain from using guns in celebrating the end of fasting month.
“Instead, a true Muslim believer shell out some money or goods for the needy because the Holy Quran teaches us to be generous,” she said in a radio interview.
Brigadier General Rey Ardo, 6th Infantry Division chief, also issued a directive for all Muslim soldiers in the division’s different units not to use their guns in celebrating the Eid’l Fitr.
Ardo said soldiers violating the division’s policy on indiscriminate firing of guns would be penalized.
There have been reported deaths and injuries in Cotabato City and surrounding towns in recent years due to the use of guns in previous Eid’l Fit’r revelries.
The military and the ARMM police have deployed hundreds of uniformed operatives along highways crisscrossing Central Mindanao and in public places such as terminals, markets and worship sites, to ensure a safe celebration of the Eid’l Fitr by local Muslim communities.
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