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Bloodshed victims mostly ordinary people

09:34 PM August 16, 2012

The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. (Job 37:23)

In a span of 10 months—from October 2011 to the present, three incidents of pointless ambushes were reported in the island of Basilan. These claimed a total of 17 precious lives and more than 40 critically injured. Most victims were rubber plantation workers, guards and ordinary civilians who go to their work early in the morning just to earn their family’s daily keep. Some were husbands to wives, committed Church and community workers and fathers of now-orphaned children. Again, last July 11, another barbaric ambush took eight lives.

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Stop all this bloodshed in Basilan! The Claretians shall not tire in condemning these senseless violence and blatant disregard for the value of life—the continuing deception of armed conflict, political unwillingness and economic gluttony that perpetuate in the society of Basilan.

We question those in authority: What have you done to protect and grant justice to the people?

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We question the military: Why are our people caught in the path of the bullets?

We ask the Church: What have we done to the values of the people and appreciation for peace?

We call on all the armed groups in Basilan to put aside hostilities and greed.

We call on all the sectors of the communities in Basilan to condemn this act and dispel all fear that these savage armed groups spread to paralyze the people.

Let us all together vanquish evil that possesses these boars who initiated these monstrous acts.

Let us all be steadfast in our faith and stand our ground in the grace of a merciful God, who sent His Son who was also tormented by the evil of this world.

We pray for the souls of the victims that they find favor in the gates of paradise. Let us pray for the families whom the workers have left behind, may the spirit dwell in them in this time of pain. We pray that swift justice be granted to the victims. Let us not allow evil to rule over us.

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—REV. FR. LEO M. DALMAO,

provincial superior,

Claretian Missionaries,

Philippine Province, Quezon City

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TAGS: ambushes, armed conflict, Basilan, claretians, Killings, letters, politics, Violence
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