In a message posted at the Official Gazette, President Aquino expressed solidarity with Filipino Muslims as they begin their observance of Ramadan.
The President also said the devotion of Filipino Muslims to Islamic practices is inspiring and an opportunity for enlightenment. He added that Muslim holiday serves as a representation of peace and also wished the Muslim-Filipino community a renewal that transcends the holy month.
During Ramadan, Muslims worldwide observe sacrifice and purification through fasting, prayer, and acts of kindness towards the less fortunate.
In observance of the holiday, Aquino earlier said that the military would have to balance its operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group, which killed seven Marines in Sulu, beheading four of them.
On Sunday, Aquino awarded the Gold Cross Medal for Gallantry in Action, the second highest honor, next to the Medal of Valor, to the seven slain Marines in recognition of their sacrifice to uphold the law. The seven Marines were also posthumously promoted to the next higher rank.
Aside from the Gold Cross Medal, their families will receive P250,000 each in assistance, scholarships for their children, as well as housing privileges.
He also visited the wake of the seven Marines at the Philippine Marine Corps Auditorium in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City to personally condole with their loved ones.