THE month-long celebration by our Muslim brothers of the Holy Ramadan season practiced by their faith officially started the other day, Thursday, March 23.
It is nice to hear from the leaders of our Muslim brothers that the main message of Ramadan is for every Muslim to veer away from committing sins and to be kind, sharing and respectful to all be they fellow followers of Islam or Christians.
It is just unfortunate that like followers of other faith or religion, there are a few of them who are extremely politicized and who use their faith to achieve their political and even material ends by all means, even disregarding the teachings of Islam..
But on the whole we wish our Muslim brothers in Mindanao and elsewhere in the Philippines and other countries in the world, a successful and peaceful celebration of the Ramadan and that no one from among them or from other sects will take advantage of the solemnity of the occasion.
And talking of religious faith other than that of the Muslims’ here is one funny yet laudable incident somewhere in Kidapawan City, Cotabato.
A Catholic priest who was driving his vehicle apparently going to Kidapawan from Davao del Sur, was flagged down in a checkpoint set up in a still undisclosed portion of the national highway going to Cotabato. The television report did not mention who were setting up and manning the checkpoint – whether they were policemen or military personnel.
But just the same, the vehicle the priest was driving was stopped and peeped into. Upon seeing an object which perhaps the checkpoint personnel suspect was a human body inside the car, the priest was asked to stepped out as most likely the servant of the Lord could have been in his civilian clothing as is now the norm of priests travelling out or even inside their official residence in the Church compound.
The checkpoint personnel suspect that the cargo was a cadaver of a person who was possibly salvaged and was to be disposed of by the unrecognized priest-driver. But how dismayed the men in uniform manning the checkpoint.as It turned out that the suspected cadaver was a statue of the Christ that was to be brought to a Church in some parish in Cotabato Province. The replica of the Lord Jesus was intended for the commemoration of the Holy Week this coming April, 2023.
Of course the checkpoint personnel were apologetic with the mistake they did to the priest who also readily accepted their apology for the misjudgment. In fact it was reported that the priest strongly lauded the people manning the checkpoint for doing religiously their responsibility.
We too, would like to join the Man of God in lauding the men undertaking the checkpoint responsibilities. These days, a number of people with criminal activities will not hesitate impersonating any Tom, Dick and Harry if only to be able to do their criminal intensions. They are just too willing to impersonate just anybody – a priest, a nun, a doctor, a transvestite, even the lowliest of beggars to attain their objectives.
The checkpoint personnel could not have recognized the driver as a priest so they have to do what is mandated of them even if in the end they are to find out their subject of inspection is far from the usual suspect of a person with criminal intensions.
With the priest readily accepting their apology, we presume that the men in charge of the checkpoint could have done their job in the most respectful and courteous manner.
Again, we are extending our appreciation to the checkpoint personnel and to the entire unit where they come from.
“Ignorance of the law excuses no one.”
Or so, it is one legal dictum in the Philippines that must not be joked about or the “joker/s” faces the consequences. And that was exactly what happened to the Russian couple tourists who wanted to scale Mt. Apo, the country’s highest mountain peak using the Kidapawan trail early this week. They ended up being fined P2,000 each for their unintentional (perhaps) infraction of a local policy that needs to be complied by climbers.
The Kidapawan LGU through its City Tourism Office, wanted to impart on the foreigners that they have to follow local protocols as these would help them whenever they will meet problems along the way.
We have to congratulate the Kidapawan Tourism Office for its insistence on having the policy followed even if the Russian tourists-mountain climbers would have been among the best marketers of their city as tourist destination.
“The law is Harsh, but it is the law.”
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