PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has called on all Muslims in the country to unite with other Filipinos to achieve peace and development not only in Mindanao but for the entire country as well.
In his message during the celebration of the Eid’l Fitr or the Holy month of Ramadan, Duterte on Wednesday said this year’s observance of the Muslim feast is “indeed timely and relevant,” noting that his assumption to the presidency marked the nation’s “fresh move toward peace, stability, development and progress under a new leadership.”
“As everybody knows, fasting during Ramadan teaches discipline. It instills [in]one’s mind and heart the virtues of honesty, sincerity and commitment to his faith. It promotes understanding, peace, sympathy and love for fellow human beings,” the President noted.
“Definitely, we view the new administration with high hope and sustained enthusiasm that, with the support and cooperation of every Filipino, it will propel our country to greater heights,” he said.
The discipline taught during the month of Ramadan, according to Duterte, should “inspire
all the members of the Muslim Filipino communities to unite with other Filipinos to achieve lasting peace, political stability, economic growth and development.”
“Indeed, change is coming!” he said.
The President has Muslim blood, his grandmother being of Maranao descent while his grandchildren have Tausug roots.
Duterte has vowed to continue the peace process with Muslim insurgents in Mindanao who have been fighting a decades-old war against “imperial Manila.”
He also promised to make the talks more inclusive so as not to repeat the mistakes of past administrations.
His peace adviser, Jesus Dureza, issued a separate statement to express his desire for peace not only with Muslims but with other groups too.
“On the occasion of the joyous celebration of Eid’l Fitr, please allow me to extend my own personal–as well as those of my fellow peace co-workers–the greetings of joy and felicitation as we all mark today the end of Ramadan,” he said.
Dureza pledged to continue the gains of his predecessor.
Also, should there be a need to make some changes, he said these would be “minor.”
“Perseverance, endurance and cleansing are necessary hallmarks as we all walk in step with each other, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, for peace in the land. Eid Mubarak!” Dureza added.