GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 August) – The Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 has granted special leave privileges to all its Muslim police personnel in the region in observance of Islam’s Holy Month of Ramadan.
Chief Supt. Benjardi Mantele, acting PRO-12 chief, said Thursday the leave privileges will allow their Muslim personnel to properly observe the fasting month and spend the occasion with their families.
“This is in accordance with the standing directive from PNP (Philippine National Police) national headquarters as a simple gesture of respect and consideration for this important Muslim tradition which is the true essence of religious freedom, guaranteed by the state as a sovereign right of every peace-loving Filipino,” he said in a press statement.
Mantele pointed out that Ramadan, which started last August 1, is an occasion that must be observed by both Muslim and non-Muslim police personnel as a way of strengthening the bond among them.
He said it would also help “provide a better understanding of the differences and distinctive attributes of the cultures and traditions of different religions that exist within our society.”
PRO-12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
The police official said he has directed the PRO-12’s regional chaplain’s office to coordinate with the Salaam Police Center for the conduct of the activities in relation to the observance of the Ramadan.
He also ordered all police units in the region to sustain their security and intelligence operations as well as the enforcement of their campaign against criminal elements, terrorist and threat groups to ensure the peaceful observance of Ramadan in the region.
The operations officers of all police units in the region convened here last week to finalize their security plans for the month of Ramadan.
Police Director Felicisimo Khu, chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO)-Western Mindanao, said they specifically drew operational strategies and other security-related security arrangements for the region.
Khu said all police units in the entire region are currently on full alert as part of their security arrangements for the observance of the Ramadan. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)