TO BE able to hold the once-in-a-year Eid’l Fitr celebration inside the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 is truly something to be thankful for. So said Police Major Mark Nadanza, Chief of Inspection and Audit Division of the Police Regional Internal Affairs Service 7 and one of the lead organizers of the celebration.
He is one of the around 400 Muslims, of which 70 are policemen, who were able to celebrate “the breaking of the fast” together with their families, friends, and relatives inside the Camp Sergio Osmeña on June 5, Wednesday.
“We are very thankful for the opportunity given to us, the Muslim policemen, to be able to have our celebration of the Eid’l Fitr inside our police headquarters. This is the first time. We are very thankful to Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, ” he said.
Eid’l Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Muslim calendar and the holy month of fasting.
PRO 7 Director Debold Sinas said he is used to celebrating Eid’l Fitr as he was assigned to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao before he was assigned to Region 7. He said one way to show respect to a custom is to celebrate it.
“I am used to doing this because, I was assigned to ARMM for more than two years, and I had lived in Zamboanga City since I was in elementary school, ” he said. “I am very happy that we are gathered here. To our visitors, the respective families of our men, I hope you were warmly welcomed in PRO 7. Before, when I was still in ARMM, I used to pay a visit to the houses of our Muslim brothers, but since it is hard to do it here, we might as well we celebrate it here in PRO 7,” he added.
In his sermon, Ustaz Najib Razul, the presiding imam, called on the Muslim police members to instill in their duties the values taught in the Qur’an.
“You are a Muslim, yet you are a police. As a law enforcer, you should have values. Instill the Islamic value of righteousness in your service. So that if you are to serve the government, you can be relied on. Muslim ka eh! You are kind, obedient, and disciplined!” he said.
According to him, a Muslim policeman is pleasing when he knows how to discipline himself, to endure thirst and hunger when needed.
He also gave Sinas his translated Qur’an as a gift of gratitude.
Tagbilaran, Bohol Special Weapons and Tactics team member Abdul Azis Ebra said the discipline they acquired in the observance of Ramadan has a huge impact on his job as a policeman.
“It’s just a matter of faith. Yes, we are hungry and thirsty, but we are called to serve. We have to endure the thirst and the hunger, without failing to serve our duties. We have to develop more patience and kindness most especially to the civilians,” he said.
He, together with his wife, arrived in Cebu from Bohol at around 3 a.m. on Wednesday to join the celebration.
Nadanza, on the other hand, said they made sure that their preparations are in accordance with the Islamic law.
Meanwhile, outgoing Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña promised to continue to help the Muslim community even after he leaves office. He will return to civilian life starting on July 1, 2019. He will be replaced by Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, who defeated him in the mayoral race in the May 13 elections. (WBS, with a report from PAC of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)