04/30/2007, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Bishops: Ten days of prayer for “honest and peaceful” elections

by Santosh Digal
The president of the Bishops Commission has addressed an appeal to all of the faithful in which he asks them to pray from May 5th through 14th resident for free and fair elections. But political violence continues in the country: this morning the mayor of San Carlos died, after being attacked.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The Philippine bishops have asked the faithful to pray for ten days from May 5th through to 14th, so that the coming national elections are “honest and peaceful”.  But in the interim, political violence targeting candidates continues: the Mayor of San Carlos is the latest victim of a political war that seems to know no bounds.

 

In his Pastoral Exhortation letter, CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo called on the Filipino Christendom to “unite for the Lord's guidance so the elections on May 14 will be clean, peaceful and reflective of the true voice of the voters”.

 

The bishop urged that “every Philippine take on board the exhortation, so that these prayers may be fruitful”.

 

 

The Church has increased its efforts to reduce tension as the election nears.  But just this morning Julian Resuello, Mayor of San Carlos (160 km from Manila), died in hospital, the victim of an ambush attack April 28th last.

 

According to the provincial chief of police, Leopoldo Bataoil, the authors of the crime are political opponents.  For this reason the whole area “will be placed under the jurisdiction of the electoral Commission which has the necessary power to stop the violence”.

 

In a separate incident, the Mayor of Morong miraculously escaped unharmed from a night-time raid on his home, while he and his family were sleeping.

 

In efforts to stop this violence, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered the army to coordinate controls with the police “24 hours a day” in all areas of the Country considered at risk.  Moreover, she has issued orders to confiscate all fire arms in private citizen’s possession.

 

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