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CBCP rejects ‘all-out war’ call against MILF

Posted By: Chris Costuya On:


MANILA, Oct. 24, 2011— The Catholic hierarchy rejected calls for an “all-out” war with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front but said perpetrators of recent atrocities in Mindanao must be brought to justice.

“Nobody wins in a war; let us renounce violence; let us not allow these violent acts of lawless elements to provoke us to further violence,” said Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, CBCP president.

The statement was issued after an emergency meeting of members of the CBCP Permanent Council on Monday which may have been triggered by the peace situation in Mindanao.

The meeting also came following the reported MILF attack in two separate locations on Sunday that killed five civilians and two more soldiers dead.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported that the MILF ambushed a truck owned by a rubber cooperative in Basilan, leaving five civilians dead and eight others wounded.

Two soldiers were also killed and four were wounded when suspected MILF rebels also ambushed government troopers in Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte.

On Oct. 18, nineteen soldiers, including four officers, were also killed in an encounter with the MILF that also claimed the lives of several rebels.

Bishop Odchimar also noted the recent murder of Italian priest Fr Fausto Tentorio, a vocal anti-mining advocate, in Arakan, North Cotabato.

According to him, the string of violent events in Mindanao has caused reflex reactions from many sectors who are favoring an all-out war again in the troubled-region.

“The reactions are valid, and the perpetrators of these dastardly acts must indeed be pursued relentlessly and brought to justice,” he said.

But the CBCP head stressed that to throw away the “tremendous efforts” that have been poured in the work for peace-building in Mindanao would be “ill-advised.”

“A lot of lives have been wasted in the past in Mindanao. We cannot possibly start from scratch all over again by resorting to an all-out war,” Odchimar added.

“We affirm the general pulse of our brother bishops in Mindanao which is to continue the peace negotiations despite these recent setbacks,” he said. [CBCPNews]


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