Preview image: Imam Jamael Usodan shares the message of Ramadan at the Baguio Athletic Bowl in this Philippine Information Agency file photo dated June 5, 2019. (RMC- PIA CAR)


President Rodrigo Duterte urged Muslim Filipinos to nourish their inner strength and fortitude through prayer “to stay true to the inherent goodness of humanity as we shun the evils that permeate our society,” in his Eid’l Fitr message.

“As you celebrate the Breaking of he Fast, may the clarity of thought and wisdom that you have attained from this undertaking inspire you to be the living examples of what is best in the Islamic faith,” Duterte’s statement read.

“As you further carry out your role as stewards of peace, love and understanding, I trust that you will remain committed in breaking down barriers that divide and further estrange us from one another,” the president added.

Vice President Leni Robredo also released a statement, saying this year’s Ramadan was “perhaps the first in living memory when family and friends have not been able to gather for Iftar,” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Despite this, we see the many ways that Eid’l Fitr and the past holy month of Ramadan strengthened the linkages among Muslim Filipinos. We see it in friends reaching out and checking on each other online during fasting; in Muslim business owners extending compassion to their staff; in leaders who advocate peace and put their constituents front and center in their agenda,” Robredo said.

She ended her statement by saying that the many threads of Filipino beliefs “ultimately weave into the collective fabric of Filipino identity,” and invited the public to live “in adherence to Eid’l Fitr’s message of inclusiveness and communal responsibility.”

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar called on Muslims to observe social distancing and quarantine measures as they celebrate the religious holiday that marks the end of their month-long fasting.

Andanar also said he hoped that through the fast, Muslims obtained “renewed spiritual attainment [to] strengthen your resilience and commitment to the exemplary Islamic virtues, especially at this time when we continue to face the challenges and uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Duterte declared May 25 a regular holiday for the observance of Eid’l Fitr.

“In order to bring the religious and cultural significance of Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness, it is necessary to declare Monday, 25 May 2020, a regular holiday throughout the country,” Proclamation No. 944 read. John Ezekiel J. Hirro