By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Muslims and non-Muslims alike have joined this year’s observance of Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice, one two most celebrated and important events in Islam marking the day Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) passed the test of The Almighty Creator (Allah) almost sacrificing the life of his Ismael in piety.
After declaring July 20 as a regular national holiday for the event observance in the Philippines, President Duterte led non-Muslim key officials in joining Islam followers in the celebration, appearing in television to convey his greetings.
“I join our Muslim brothers in the observance of Eid’l Adha. I hope this year commemoration… we hold during these difficult times will continue to inspire all of us to find the true meaning of sacrifice in your own endeavors, especially in sharing life’s bounty among the poor and the needy,” the President said.
“May this occasion like strengthen your bonds with your families, friends and loved ones, especially as we navigate from uncertainty to recovery,” he wished
Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlos Galvez Jr. and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol, both popular Christian dignitaries, took their turns greeting the Muslim brethren.
They both wished that the essence of Eid’l Adha on the promotion of patience and self-sacrifice would remain high in the hearts of Muslims in fostering togetherness with fellow Filipinos in facing the challenges of the prevailing health emergency, known more as coronavirus pandemic.
For Islam followers across the nation, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan led NCMF offices regional and local levels in praying for promotion of “love, compassion and mercy” as an imperative stride to overcome “pass through these extraordinary tribulations and economic difficulties” wrought by the global pandemic.
Pangarungan prayed for Allah (s.w.t.) to “guide our President and the country’s leaders to have firm faith and health as they lead the nation into continuing progress, protection from disease, and liberation from fear and disunity.”
In Maguindanao, some resident-celebrants joined 2nd District Congressman Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu in the Eid prayer in Buluan town in the early morning and later received raw and roasted meats from four calves slaughtered by his family members for the celebration. The lawmaker, a namesake of Prophet Ibrahim’s son, offers roasted cow meats for need and less-affluent constituents during important events in Islam yearly.
In this city, Muslim members of the League of Bangsamoro Organizations (LBO) celebrated Eid’l Adha in prayers at selected big mosques and later staged brief peace rallies renewing pleas for the President to reconsider his neutral stance and push in Congress the passage of a bill postponing the 2022 regional parliament election and extending the transitional lifespan of the autonomous government.
At the famous Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah grand majid here, mosque goers signed a tarpaulin prepared by the LBO that contains bold phrases praying for a Presidential urgent certification of the enabling bill.
The Office of the Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) lauded the BLO consistent support, even as the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) through its Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READI) program dispersed relief goods for dozens of poor families here, despite the city leadership’s open opposition to call for extension in the BARMM’s transitional period.
The READi also distributed relief goods to dozens of families affected by a fire that razed to the some 50 business stalls at the Supermarket area here on July 19.
Observers appreciated the BARMM government’s humanitarian service in awe, noting that some residents (likely including some of the fire victims) had staged twice street rallies wearing uniform T-shirts bearing the bold words that read: “No to BTA (Bangsamoro Transition Authority) extension.”
MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, serving also as BARMM government spokesman, told reporters that the regional officialdom shuns vindictive and discriminatory acts and is pursuing its avowed policy for “inclusive” public service. (AGM)