• Mindanao celebrates first ‘Eid’ without bursts of gunfire

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    COTABATO CITY: For the first time in history and despite fears among residents, no gunfire has been reported during the eve and Friday’s celebration of Eid Al Fitr in Region 12 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

    The gunfire-less celebration in Region 12 and ARMM, known as a bulwark of loose firearms, was hailed as a “miracle.”

    Peace stakeholders lauded police, military and even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) from banning the act of indiscriminate firing of guns Thursday and Friday in the two regions.

    Chief Supts. Charles Calima and Noel de los Reyes, regional police directors of Region 12 and ARMM, respectively, had ordered all their respective troops’ firearm barrels sealed with tapes before and during the celebration of this Eid. They warned of disciplinary action including suspension or dismissal from service against violator troops.

    The two Moro revolutionary groups also prohibited their members from firing guns during the Eid celebration—the end of the Ramadhan fasting.

    “It has been long time since we have prohibited our members from firing guns, we have sanctions to violators.” MILF Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghazali Jaafar said in Pilipino over a radio station here.

    Authorities have tagged both ARMM and Region 12, where MILF and MNLF territories were maintained as having the most number of loose firearms in the country.

    The never-ending clashes and the August 5 and 7 bombings in Cotabato City and the two provinces have heightened tension in the two regions.

    Given the problems on peace and order and floods, gunfire for the Eid’l Fitr would be irrelevant, majority sectors here said.

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