(Photo courtesy: ICRC)

VP Robredo on Ed’l Adha: Remember the Victims of Marawi Siege

COTABATO CITY – In the observance of Eid’l Adha 2019 or Festival of Sacrifice in Islam, the Vice President of Republic of the Philippines, Leni Robredo, asked the Filipino people to remember the victims of Marawi siege and all other Muslim refugees in the country.

Robredo said in Pilipino, “Yakapin natin sila at patuloy na ipanalangin sa kanilang pagharap sa mga hamon ng buhay…Sa araw na ito, sana ay alalahanin natin ang mga kapatid nating nagsasakripisyo at nagsusumikap makabangon, tulad ng mga kababayan natin sa Marawi at mga kapatid nating Muslim refugees na nawalay sa kanilang mga pamilya at naghahangad ng mas magandang bukas.” ((Let us hug them and continuously pray as they face the challenges in life…In this day, I hope that we remember our brothers and sisters who sacrifice and strive to recover like them who are in Marawi and all other Muslim refugees separated from their families and dream for better future.)

An estimated 100,000 residents of Marawi was affected when the ISIS-inspired Maute group attacked the city on Mayo 23, 2017.

The incident prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare Martial Law in the whole region of Mindanao. 

The combat between the government troops and Maute group lasted for about five months until leaders of Maute were neutralized. 

However, until now the city is still recovering from the consequences of war.

Robredo hopes that Eid’l Adha would serve as a remembrance of Filipinos live not for personal interest and open their hearts for the poor families.

“Isa rin itong pambihirang pagkakataon upang mas pagtibayin ang ating nagkakaisang lahi, isang bayang walang iniiwan at tinatalikuran, anuman ang relihiyon, kulay ng balat, o lugar na pinagmulan,” Lobredo said. (It’s a rare opportunity that would strengthen our solidarity as one people, one nation where no one will be left behind nor abandoned, regardless of his religion, color or origin.)

“Patuloy nawa tayong pagbuklurin ng pagmamahal, pananampalataya, at pagbabayanihan,” she added. (May we be united by love, faith and patriotism.)

Meanwhile, the Muslim community in Isabela prays for the full recovery of Marawi City. 

Mukhtar Gerifaal, a leader of Muslim Community in Cauayan City, Isabela had offered prayer for Marawi during the Eid’l Adha. Gerifaal was born in Marawi City and now a resident of Isabela. 

He also prayed that being a Muslim, their life will become peaceful and prosperous. 

In La Union, the La Union Muslim Community President Allan Macapundag, started their celebration on Sunday with prayers and slaughtering of cow and goat as offering this Islamic festival.

Macapundag said that slaughtering of animal is the remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice when his only son Prophet Ismael should become his ultimate sacrifice in obedience to Allah’s command. 

In San Fernando City, a Christian dominated town, around 700 Muslim residents also celebrated Eid’l Adha in a congregational prayer.

Eid’l Adha is one of the two major holidays of the Muslims around the world. This occasion also serves as an avenue where Muslims asks forgiveness from whom they have committed mistakes. It is also in this occasion that reconciliation between disputing parties are being undertaken.