MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Saturday, May 27, expressed its solidarity with Muslim Filipinos observing the holy month of Ramadan.
“Together we pray for an end to terrorism that falsely claims to advance Islam and seeks to subjugate our land to the brutal IS,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement Saturday, referring to the international terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS).
Abella said that in the “spirit of Muslim peace,” President Rodrigo Duterte “has offered the hand of peaceful dialogue to terrorist groups, to avoid bloodshed in this time of prayer, fasting and mercy.”
“With all faiths, we pray that God restore and preserve peace in Mindanao,” he added.
Muslims fast, pray, and read the Qur’an during Ramadan, the month of fasting regarded as one of the 5 pillars of Islam. (READ: Ahead of Ramadan, Marawi residents pray for lasting peace)
Malacañang’s statement on Saturday came as clashes between government troops and the Maute terrorist group continue in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. (READ: TIMELINE: Marawi clashes prompt martial law in all of Mindanao)
The clashes erupted on Tuesday, May 23 – the same day the President declared martial law in Mindanao because of the threat of ISIS.
The Maute Group has pledged allegiance to ISIS, carrying and raising ISIS black flags and insignia. – Rappler.com