Manila: Philippines President Benigno Aquino III Saturday expressed his solidarity with the Muslim population ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Aquino said in his message that Ramadan is an opportunity for Muslim Filipinos to reinforce their discipline, self-control, and compassion values which are integral to the tenets of Islam, Xinhua reported.
"Our solidarity enables us to learn from each other and create a more unified and harmonious nation where citizens of various beliefs and creeds can work together to uphold peace and harmony," Aquino said.
He expressed hope that the event strengthens their faith and inspires them to deepen their commitment to fulfilling the shared vision of lasting, equitable progress.
"May the blessed teachings of the Holy Quran guide you in this time of fasting and prayer, and allow you to contribute more passionately towards building a better future for our countrymen," Aquino added.
Muslim Filipinos comprise the biggest non-Christian population in the Philippines.
Official statistical records place the number of Muslim Filipinos at about 5 million, roughly 5 percent of the country`s population.
Majority of Muslim Filipinos live in Mindanao, the southern part of the country.