» 12/15/2008, 00.00
Gun culture reaching young Catholics in Basilan
Bishop Jumoad denounces the trend, expresses apprehension about the situation. Young men are in fact taking up arms to defend themselves as a result of the growing violence between the army and MILF rebels. Villagers are fleeing their homes fearful of new attacks.
Woman volunteer released in Basilan, fate of another still uncertain
Fr Angel Calvo is relieved that Esperancita Hupida was released but is still concerned about the fate of Merlie Mendoza who is still in the kidnappers’ hands. MILF sources suggest that a ransom was paid, blame the abduction on Abu Sayyaf-affiliated armed gangs. Basilan bishop says no to arming priests and nuns.
MILF condemns humanitarian workers abduction as no one claims responsibility
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front offers to help in getting the release of the kidnap victims. Abu Sayyaf has not claimed responsibility for the action and local sources exclude politics or religion were involved. Police is investigating the possible involvement of an employee working at a prison the three workers had just visited.
Support police who defend the law, Basilan archbishop says
The prelate urges people to work with security forces upholding law and order in the province against attacks by armed gangs and Abu Sayyaf Islamic fundamentalists. The abduction of a priest is thwarted last Saturday. Mystery still hovers over the fate of two kidnapped aid workers.
Christians and Muslims rebuilding coexistence after Mindanao clashes
In the village of Muntay, Christians and Muslims offer each mutual assistance to protect themselves from the fighting between army, Muslim rebels and armed Christian groups. They want to rebuild their life together against the danger that hatred might triumph.
Thousands of troops to supervise elections in Mindanao
There are fears of violence, electoral fraud and Islamic terrorism. Ten suicide bombers from Indonesia might be in the country. Catholic sources warn that no one will be able to vote freely because electoral corruption is too ingrainedmany will abstain.
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