The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will exercise caution in its security operations in observance of the holy month of Ramadan, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
“The AFP—most especially the Muslims amongst us—is one with the Islamic faith in wishing that this month-long period of penance, prayer and reflection remind each one of us of the value of peace, love and sense of community,” Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.
He also reminded Muslims to remain vigilant while commemorating Ramadan, citing the possibility of “unscrupulous” individuals or groups planning to sow chaos.
“Let us, together, prevent them from disrupting the solemn observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said soldiers on the ground would exercise “caution and be mindful of the sensitivities called for in the occasion.”
“We will be careful, so we won’t disrupt the celebration of Ramadan, that’s the sensitivity we are referring to,” he told reporters.
“The conduct of our operations is to protect our communities and our people that is why we cannot halt [our operations],” Arevalo said.
Among the perceived threats during the Ramadan are the Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and even the New People’s Army members stationed in Mindanao, Arevalo said. DEMPSEY REYES