Bishops asks Pnoy to support UN appeal on Sabah conflict PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:37

Mindanao bishops, fazed by the worsening situation of Filipinos in Sabah, Malaysia, today appealed to President Aquino the government to support the United Nations’ appeal for an immediate end to the strife now spreading in the area.

In a statement entitled “Save our people - with honor,” the bishops also appealed for the government to resume diplomatic work of resolving propriety and the sovereignty questions, a task historically entrusted to the government by the Sultanate of Sulu, and thus to ensure the withdrawal with honor of armed forces from the area.

“You may not agree with the methods used. You may not agree with the ultimate aim. You may say that the entire Sabah event was both foolhardy and also wrong. You might even suspect that there are unseen minds behind the event,” the bishops said.

“The fact is: Filipino lives have been lost. Even now Filipino lives are at stake. They were lost because they believed they have a right to reclaim a naturally rich territory for which they are being paid a measly sum every year. We cannot simply let them sacrifice more lives for that cause,” the Catholic bishops stressed.

They said government leaders can do more than just tell them to get out.

“We appeal to you our government leaders for the sake of life and peace,” the clergy said.

“We pray that government leaders on both sides demonstrate wisdom and statesmanship in preventing further bloodshed and resolving the basic issues that resulted in tragedy. We pray for all the casualties, both Filipino and Malaysian, in the conflict. We pray for their grieving families,” the bishops said.

The manifesto was signed by Digos Bishop Guillermo Afable, Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, Surigao Bishop Antonieto Cabajog (Surigao), Malaybalay Bishop Jose Cabantan, Iligan Bishop Elenito Galido, Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, Isabela Bishop Martin Jumoad, Jolo Bishop Angelito Lampon, Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, S.J., Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Peña and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo.— Cara Matalam, Valenn Lambo