CAMP SK PENDATUN, Maguindanao, July 13 (PNA) –- Police authorities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have started covering their guns with masking tapes to prevent indiscriminate firing when the fasting month of Ramadan ends on Friday.
Chief Supt. Ronald Estilles, police regional director of Police Regional Office (PRO-ARMM), has ordered the gun muzzle taping activities over the weekend and implemented starting today.
Estilles said it was part of the Philippine National Police (PNP) program to ensure police officers are prevented from firing guns in welcoming the religious festivity “Eid al-Fitr”.
Malacanang has declared a national holiday on July 17 in recognition of the Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
Estilles directed all police provincial directors of the provinces composing the ARMM – Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Police Senior Insp. Arnold Allan Bulosan, chief of police of Parang town in Maguindanao, was among the first to implement the PNP directive.
Bulosan said the muzzle taping of issued firearms to all personnel of Parang PNP has been completed. About 80 percent of Parang PNP personnel are Muslims.
Traditionally, the end of Ramadan in the ARMM is greeted by gun bursts by revelers.
However, Muslim preachers are against the idea for two main reasons. One, nowhere among the verses of the holy Qur’an states that Eid al-Fitr should be met with gun shots. Second, the indiscriminate firing is dangerous because the stray bullets may claim lives.
Besides, the amount used in buying the bullets should be used instead to feed the hungry and help build Mosques, Imam Jaafar Alli said.
Estilles warned any police officer found to have fired guns in celebration of Eid al-Fitr will be dealt with accordingly.
Senior Insp. Bulosan, however, said gun muzzle taping does not mean that the issued firearms will not be used in protecting and serving the people.
”If the firearms need to be used to protect life and properties, of course the police will fire his gun,” Bulosan told reporters.
Chief Supt. Estilles appealed to all police officers to abide by the directive or face the consequence.
He also appealed to licensed gun owners to refrain from using guns in welcoming Eid al-Fitr. (PNA)