MANILA, Philippines – Prayers and messages of solidarity for the people of strife-torn Marawi City poured in on the eve of Eid'l Fitr or the end of Ramadan.
In a statement on Saturday, June 24, the Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN) strongly opposed "all acts of violence and terrorism as these are all against Islamic teachings."
"Soon, we shall observe Eid'l Fitr to signal the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. We offer prayers for the release of the civilian hostages; for wise and just actions by our leaders in government to resolve the situation in Marawi; and for recovery of peace and stability in Marawi," the YMPN said.
The group made the statement as Marawi remained under siege more than a since since government troops and local terrorists began clashes on May 23. The Marawi crisis has prompted the imposition of martial law in the entire Mindanao. (READ: TIMELINE: Marawi clashes prompt martial law in all of Mindanao)
"All acts of violence and terrorism committed by any group run counter to the essential values of Islam, which are justice, care for humanity, mercy and compassion, and religious tolerance," the group added.
The YMPN said the Marawi siege is a "fight of humanity against terrorism" and a "call to unite and stand up for humanity."
The group called for the creation of an independent body that will probe allegations of human rights violations.
They also called for a "continuous humanitarian assistance" for internally displaced persons in Marawi, and for the "long-term rebuilding and rehabilitation" of the city.
Also on Saturday, Senator Grace Poe urged Filipinos to "stand together against the forces that seek to instill fear in us."
"After a month of fasting, introspection and quest of faith, let the occasion of Eid'l Fitr serve as symbol of our collective pursuit towards peace and unity, especially in this time when our solidarity as a nation is being put to test with the fighting in Marawi City," she said in a statement on Saturday.
She called for "great hope and courage" to stand up for the Philippines, "with the guidance of Allah who brings the promise of love and peace."
Eid'l Fitr means "Feast of the Breaking of the Fast," and is the culmination of the Muslims' practice of fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines will observe an 8-hour "humanitarian pause" in Marawi City on Sunday, June 25, in deference to Eid'l Fitr.
Malacañang said that as of Thursday, June 22, at least 375 people (69 government troops, 280 terrorists, and 26 civilians) have been killed in Marawi since the fighting broke out a month ago. – Rappler.com
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.