MANILA, Oct. 3, 2011— The Catholic Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro has appealed for safe release of six sleeping mat peddlers snatched by the New People’s Army (NPA) last August.
In a statement, Fr. Nathan Lerio, director of the archdiocese’s Social Action Center urged the insurgents to finally release the vendors “without harm and ransom.”
“Let us respect human rights and promote democratic and peaceful dwelling being freed from harassment and coercion,” Lerio said.
“We cannot attain peace and prosperity through human right violations but only in the spirit of dialogue, self-giving love and respect human dignity that we enjoy a peaceful and progressive society,” he added.
The NPA Front 88 based in the hinterlands of Bukidnon has earlier admitted to “arresting” the mat vendors for alleged espionage.
It said the vendors, who were reported missing since August 10, were caught doing surveillance work while selling their products door-to-door.
The six peddlers were identified as: James Mabaylan, Nelson Bagares, Segundino Dailo, Ernesto Callo Jr., Julieto Sarsaba and Ronald Boiles, all from Initao, Misamis Oriental.
Father Lerio also called on the faithful to continue praying for the safe release of the peddlers as soon as possible.
“We earnestly pray for the concerned families whose family members’ lives are endangered to hold faith in God and remain strong with fervent hope that things will be well by the grace of God. We are in solidarity with you in this trying moments,” he said. [CBCPNews]