DAVAO CITY, November 24, 2009—The Bishops Ulama Conference (BUC) issued a statement condemning in the strongest possible terms the abduction and killing of 36 relatives and supporters of Buluan Vice Mayor Datu Ismail “Toto” Mangudadatu in Maguindanao yesterday morning.
The statement, which was issued on behalf of the BUC by Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, said that Islamic and Christian faiths condemn in any way killings and abductions.
“This abominable sin was inflicted upon unarmed civilians whose only “crime” was to proceed to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) office to file the Certificate of Candidacy on behalf of Mangudadatu, who is gearing for the gubernatorial seat in Maguindanao,” Capalla said.
“We grieve with the families of the victims, offer our prayers for the eternal repose of the innocent souls, and call upon the authorities to squarely address this atrocity,” he added. A number of journalists were likewise included in the massacre.
He also noted that the massacre which took place unprecedented in the province of Maguindanao mocks their humble but painstaking efforts to build harmony and understanding in Mindanao.
The BUC also called on the enemies of peace to stop the violence, end the midnless savagery and to respect human life. (Mark S. Ventura)
CBCP condemns Maguindanao carnage
MANILA, Nov. 24, 2009—The Catholic hierarchy called on authorities to bring the perpetrators of the Maguindanao hostage-taking turned killing spree.
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, condemned the incident that claimed 36 lives, mostly women, including drivers and journalists.
“We join the appeal to rightful authorities to restore justice in the situation,” he said.
“We likewise appeal that the common good as well as respect for human life be uppermost in the campaign for political ends,” Archbishop Lagdameo said.
The outgoing CBCP head said that whether yesterday’s carnage was politically motivated or not, “it is still a crime against respect for life and peace and order in the community.”
“May this painful situation be a strong reason for further pursuing the ongoing peace process in Mindanao,” he added.
Analysts and investigators are still unsure who is responsible for the incident. But the details suggest the incident were politically motivated, and the military said the gunmen were loyal to the province’s incumbent governor.
Those killed include Ismail Mangudadatu, a gubernatorial candidate, and his wife and one of his sisters. The death toll also included 12 journalists.
Some of the bodies were beheaded, according to Maguindanao authorities.
Now where are the other bishops when you need them to issue statements? They issue their own statements, right?
Paging Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, Bishop Deogracias Yniguez, Bishop Antonio Tobias!