Philippine troops offer Friday prayers at Marawi’s Grand Mosque

Sun, 2017-09-10 03:00

MANILA: Philippine troops on Sept. 8 offered Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Marawi, the first time they were held at the mosque since the military liberated it in August from the Daesh-inspired Maute group, which captured it in May.
Marawi City’s police chief, Superintendent Ebra M. Moxsir — who is also an imam — led the Friday prayers, attended by 42 Muslim personnel from the military and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“We are happy to allow our soldiers and policemen the time to practice their religious activities even as the battle to liberate Marawi from terrorists goes on,” Senior Superintendent Rolando Anduyan, commander of the PNP’s Joint Task Group, said in a statement.
“It is our Muslim brothers’ chance to pray and seek Allah’s guidance especially as the situation grows critical.”
Lt. Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said troops are encouraged to attend religious activities “even if we are at war.”
He added: “As much as time allows it, we permit our troops to practice their religious beliefs since it is also where most of them get their strength and motivation from.”
Meanwhile, to help boost soldiers’ morale, members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) Zamboanga chapter sent them chocolates and letters of support.
“It is so heart-warming to know that these young boys are well aware of the sacrifices our soldiers are making here in Marawi,” said Galvez Jr.
The soldiers also received sacks of rice from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, commander of the Joint Task Force Marawi, expressed his gratitude for the continued support.

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