• Binay, UK ambassador hail end of Eid al-Fitr

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    Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday joined the international community in greeting “our Muslims brothers and sisters” in celebrating the end of Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr), and recognized the role of the Mindanao peace process in proving that different religions and cultures can exist peacefully.

    “We join our Muslim brothers and sisters as they celebrate the end of their fast,” Binay said in a statement.

    British Ambassador to Manila Asif Ahmad also cited the end of Ramadan.

    “A month of fasting, introspection and thought for those who are less fortunate, is marked today as a celebration by Muslims in the Philippines, the UK and other parts of the world,” Ahmad said.

    In hailing the Mindanao peace process, Binay said the signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro will pave the way for “our country to become a model in proving that people of different religions can co-exist in peace.”

    But as the international community joined in the festivities, the Vice President also called on Filipinos “to pray for brotherhood and peace to reign in the Gaza Strip and Libya.”

    The continuing conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians. There are some 100 Filipinos remaining in Gaza.

    In Libya, on the other hand, the civil war there caused the death of a Filipino construction worker because he was allegedly not a Muslim.

    “Many lives have been lost in the continuing violence in those areas, and even our kababayans [compatriots]working in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Libya have become casualties of the conflict.”

    According to the British ambassador, the end of Ramadan is an opportunity for both countries to “appreciate and understand better the culture and diversity of people.”

    Ahmad said he hoped that between now and the next Eid, there will be progress in the implementation of the Bangsamoro peace process.

    “The Philippines will have a better future when all communities see the fruits of peace and prosperity,” he added.

    “Eid Mubarak to everyone participating in the celebrations and enjoying the holiday declared for the 29th of July.”

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