Warring groups told to lay down arms, embrace dialogue

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MANILA, Sept. 11, 2013— Catholic bishops have appealed to both the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to lay down their arms and embrace calls for dialogue. 

Prelature of Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said dialogue is the ideal option for a peaceful resolution of the Zamboanga City crisis. 

“The government should pursue the talks with the group of Nur Misuari,” Jumoad told Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas on Wednesday. 

“That is why I appeal to chairman Nur Misuari to be open to dialogue and resolve this crisis through peaceful negotiations. Order his men to go back home and to stop sowing fear in Zamboanga City because Basilan is also affected,” he said. 

The bishop has also regretted the loss of human life and expressed concern for the situation in Zamboanga and for the dangers it might entail for nearby provinces like Basilan. 

“For three days now, there’s no classes here, no ferries from Basilan to Zamboanga and vice versa. The fighting resulted to the loss of lives, damage to properties and bad economies,” he added. 

Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso also called on the MNLF gunmen to release their hostages and spare the innocent civilians in the ongoing conflict. 

“Everything should be discussed in the table, but never use violence and arms for the discussion, we are civilized people and we know what is right and wrong. The most logical place to be heard is in the table,” said Medroso. (CBCPNews)

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