Authorities prohibit use of guns during Eid revelry in ARMM PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 July 2015 10:47

Officers on Wednesday started sealing the muzzles of firearms of policemen in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to prevent indiscriminate firing during Friday’s Eid’l Fitr revelry.

The Eid’l Fitr marks the culmination of the month-long Ramadan fasting season, where Muslims abstain from food and drinks during daytime as a religious obligation.

Police officers will inspect the service firearms of all policemen in the autonomous region and initiate an inventory of the ammunition issued to each them a day after the Eid celebration.

The ARMM’s police director, Chief Supt. Ronald Estilles, warned to initiate administrative action against any policeman caught firing a gun during Friday’s Eid merry-making.

The presiding chair of the regional peace and order council, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, had ordered Estilles and his subordinate-provincial directors to tighten security throughout the autonomous region to ensure a safe celebration of the Eid by local folks.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the “five pillars” of the Islamic faith, which include absolute belief in Allah, praying five times a day facing west, giving of zakat (alms) to the poor and, for those who can afford the cost of travel, a pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia to perform the hajj rituals at least once in a lifetime.

Hataman said except for some isolated incidents in the ARMM’s scattered Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces, the region was relatively peaceful since the Ramadan started in last June 18.

The Ramadan season lasts for one lunar cycle, about 28 to 29 days, based on the Islamic hijrah calendar.

Hataman on Wednesday appealed to his Muslim constituents not to fire guns during the Eid celebration.

“Nowhere in the Holy Qur’an can we find a single sentence ordering us to `make noise’ or engage in activities that can be harmful to us and our neighbors during the Eid’l Fitr,” Hataman said.

He said the Eid is best celebrated through congregational prayers and, for those who have money, hosting of banquets for their poor neighbors regardless of their religions and ethnic identities.

Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur provinces, said he had also issued a directive to his Muslim subordinates not to use their guns during the Eid celebration.

“While I am very supportive of all religious activities of my Muslim men in different units of 6th ID, I also do not want them to fire their guns to do revelries,” Pangilinan said.

said he will work out the immediate dishonorable discharge from the military service of any soldier found to have fired a pistol or an assault rifle during the Eid festivity on Friday.

He said Army intelligence operatives will help the police monitor indiscriminate firing of guns during the event.