Freeman Region

Palo cleric urges faithful: Pray for end of war in Marawi

Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros - The Freeman

TACLOBAN CITY , Philippines– Father Chris Arthur Militante, chairman of the Palo Archdiocese’s Commission on Social Communications, called on the faithful to pray for peace to put an end to martial law now in effect in Mindanao.

Militante told The Freeman that Archbishop John Du takes on the same stand of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines with regards to the declaration of martial law.

“I pray for peace because if peace is restored comes the lifting of the martial law,” Militante remarked in an interview, although reserving his personal thought that martial law “if carried well has good outcome.”

He also urged the faithful to “pray for peace and our government leaders to be guided in their decisions,” particularly on President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, under Proclamation 216.

The battle between government troops and the terrorists led to the death of innocent civilians and soldiers as well as caused massive destruction of properties in Marawi, a peaceful Muslim-dominated city in Mindanao.

Father Ivo Acebedo, priest-in-charge of the Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Mission Station in Alangalang town in Leyte, advanced his view on it in his social media post: “It is understandable to be apprehensive about martial law as people have gone through a lot during the harrowing years of the ‘70s and ‘80s when it was wielded as a tool by a corrupt government.”

He added: “There is, however, an evil threat that we all face: terrorism that feeds on a fundamentalist view that is far away from the better version of Islam, which is more humane and closer to submission to God.”

For Father Virgilio Cañete, parish priest of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Tolosa town in Leyte, said that although he is not in favor of martial law, he is apprehensive that the “ISIS or Maute threat could turn hydra,” thus “a concerted effort is demanded” otherwise a “Syria in the offing could be our worst nightmare.”

Julita (Leyte) town Mayor Percival Ca?a, in his social media page, said: “The Marawi incident is one concern which all those who value peace must seriously put their attention to. This is no time to blame on others. This is the time, more than ever, when all efforts must be directed towards achieving peace in that part of Mindanao and elsewhere.”

He added that the government is obviously doing its best to put things in their proper places. “By all means, let us rally behind it. The attainment of peace is all that there is to it.”

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office-8 Director, Chief Superintendent Elmer Beltejar, appealed to the public to be extra vigilant and responsive by providing information on enemy location and their movements “so that our government forces can swiftly conclude this important security operation.”

While some anti-Duterte quarters criticize the president’s declaration of martial law, the national president of the Philippine Association of Court Employees (PACE), lawyer Maria Fe Maloloy-on based in Mindanao, said, “It is peaceful here and safer because of martial law,” she commented.

Maloloy-on said courts are open although the executive judge declared a “holiday” on May 25, which she surmised might continue while Marawi is in chaos. So far she has not received information on casualty of PACE members from courts in Marawi related to the siege. (FREEMAN)

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