Nation in euphoria, and then in sorrow
The world’s attention was on us during the historic papal visit of Pope Francis and hardly the euphoria of his visit had died down when a pall of sorrow and grief descended upon the families and loved ones of 44 member of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force, who lost their lives while in the performance of their sworn duties. Both government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front claimed that the incident was a “misencounter.” And the world’s attention was again on us.
The Holy Father, deeply hurt too by the loss of 44 lives, perhaps asked himself: “Has my message of mercy, compassion, love and peace, easily been forgotten? Or, “Did they listen at all?”
This message of Pope Francis is universal for Christians and non-Christians alike. The brave members of the SAF were out to serve a warrant of arrest to two terrorists, not primarily to kill them, or share the price on their heads, but to bring them alive, if possible, that they might see the light of justice so that peace would reign in them and for others. But the SAF’s sincere and noble efforts cost the lives of 44 of its members. At a merciless, brutal, inhuman price. Whose fault was that?
Whatever would be the results of the investigations, one thing is certain: Peace in our land and anywhere in the world can be achieved only in godly dialogues, whatever name you call God (not by the sounds of guns), and only then will the biblical message of mercy, compassion, love and peace be truly put to practice.
The whole nation mourns with the bereaved families of the Fallen 44. The Church prays for the eternal repose of their souls. The State must pursue with strong will all avenues to give them justice. May their deaths not be in vain.
—BRO. DOMINGO G. VARGAS, Adoracion Nocturna Filipina, MIP, Moonwalk, Las Piñas City, firstname.lastname@example.org
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