The significance of spiritual or religious beliefs varies from person to person and can have a profound impact on their lives. For many people, their spiritual or religious beliefs are a source of comfort, guidance, and meaning.
Some of the benefits of having strong spiritual or religious beliefs include: a sense of purpose and direction in life; resilience, as it helps people cope with difficult times and bounce back from adversity; community fostering, by providing a sense of belonging, support, and connection to and with others who share similar values and beliefs; personal growth through encouraging people to develop qualities like compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude; and the provision of comfort because of the belief in an afterlife or higher power which can provide reassurance that there is a greater meaning to life and that physical death is not the end.
It is important to note that spiritual or religious affiliation can also be a source of conflict and division, both within and between communities. It is essential to respect and tolerate different beliefs and practices, and to recognize that spirituality and religion are deeply personal and are subjective experiences that are unique to each individual.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), with its utmost effort in upholding its constitutional mandate in securing and maintaining peace and security in every Filipino community all throughout the country, stands unbiased and non-judgmental regardless of difference in faith or religious affiliation.
Vanguard of Faith Practice
PNP’s mobilization of its commanders at all levels to aim for a zero-casualty week urged everyone to safeguard the safety of motorists travelling home for the holidays in observance of both the Holy Week and Ramadan.
The country’s law enforcement agency launched its annual “Ligtas SumVac (Summer Vacation) 2023″ campaign, where PNP deployed around 77,000 police officers to guarantee the public’s safety and security during these Christian and Muslim religious events.
Assistance Hubs (AHs) and Police Assistance Desks (PADs) with a total of 38,387 officers were deployed for enhanced police presence through mobile and foot/beat patrol to assist the public, and promptly address specific complaints. An additional 39,504 officers have been deployed for specific areas of convergence such as major thoroughfares, transportation hubs, terminals, commercial areas, and places of worship.
Let us take for instance a Christian religious event, the Bisikleta Iglesia, an ocular inspection using patrol bicycles in the early morning of Maundy Thursday, March 6, 2023, which was conducted in different churches and places of convergence in NCR, and simultaneously observed nationwide. They were led by the PNP Officer-in-Charge, Police Lieutenant General Rhodel O. Sermonia, and the top brass of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) headed by its Regional Director, Police Major General Alan O. Okubo, together with the District Directors of Manila Police District (MPD) and Southern Police District (SPD), PBGen Andre P. Dizon and PBGen Kirby John B. Kraft, respectively. This specific event underscored PNP’s initiatives in fully supporting the Christian’s way of observing the day of atonement.
The Muslim’s Month of Fasting
The Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR), through its Salaam Police Center, hosted the Grand Iftar 2023 on April 12 at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center (MPC) in Camp BGen Rafael T. Crame, Quezon City.
Hundreds of Muslim PNP personnel from NCRPO, SAF, and Crame-based Offices/Units, including the National Officers of the Salaam Police Advocacy Group and other Muslim personalities in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces, partook in this event.
During the holy month of Ramadan, many people gather together to break their fast and celebrate the Grand Iftar. It is a key aspect of Islamic tradition celebrated by Muslims everywhere. The PNP’s Grand Iftar is an effort to bring people of all religions together and break down barriers through increased familiarity with Islamic rituals and customs.
Sheikh Abdul Razzaq Siddiq, Chairman of the Peace Center Kapayaan, Inc., and a well-known peace campaigner, was the Guest of Honor and Speaker (GOHS) at the said religious event, while Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong, Secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), was also one of the speakers.
Finally, on April 22, 2023, PNP personnel joined the Muslim community in celebrating Eid’l Fitr or the Feast of Breaking the Fast, signaling the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting in the month of Ramadan.
For hundreds of years, the Philippines, regionalistic as it is, has lived with the diversity of faiths, ethnicity, and sub-cultures. Though its people settle in different islands, yet, the remain united in spirit as one strong Filipino nation under a democratic republic.
PNP remains committed to promoting inclusivity and understanding among different faiths and communities, being true to its mandate to serve and protect all Filipinos. Through activities like the Grand Iftar, PNP hopes to foster a culture of respect, acceptance, and solidarity among all Filipinos, regardless of religion or ethnicity.