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News - October 2008
A Statement of Concern Over Incidents of Violence in Basilan
Date Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 00:19:00 AM
(Editor’s Note: The University wishes to inform the community and readers of our website about the alarming incidents occurring in particular places of the country.)
We—members of the Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi Association of Private Schools (ZAMBASULTAPS) and Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in Region 9—are quite concerned about the recent incidents of kidnapping and killing in our Region 9 and the Island Provinces especially in Basilan Province. Several of these cases are no longer known to authorities and the media for various reasons.
Last 18 October 2008, Saturday, between 12:45 and 1.00 p.m., Fr. Felimon Libot, CMF and his six military escorts (mostly CAFGUs) were ambushed near Tumahubong, Basilan, by an armed group. Fr. Libot was on his way to celebrate Mass in that area. It is not known whether the attack was intended to kill Fr. Libot or kidnap him. Four of his companions were wounded and all are in stable condition. Fr. Libot sustained minor bruises, but otherwise unharmed. The motives behind this attack are still uncertain.
Fr. Libot, a Claretian priest, is the Director of Claret College of Isabela, Basilan, a member ZAMBASULTAPS and CEAP. Fr. Libot is a Board member of ZAMBASULTAPS.
Last 15 September 2008, peace advocates and development practitioners Ms. Espie Hupida, Program Director of Nagdilaab Foundation Inc, and Milet Mendoza were kidnapped and are still held captive.
We condemn these acts that breed violence and foster instability in our region. We salute the courage of those who protected Fr. Libot. We appeal to the captors of Ms. Hupida and Ms. Mendoza to release them as soon as possible. We call upon our authorities to restore protection and safety of our citizenry. We call upon our government, institutions, organized groups, and people of goodwill to pursue relentlessly the path of peace.
Fr. Antonio F. Moreno, SJ
Msgr. David M. Alonzo
Sr. Ma Bernadette G. Sucio, RVM
Fr. Christian James DL Castro, CMF
Col. Romeo E Delgado (Ret)
Fr. Armando S. Bayron
Sr. Mercedes Salud, SFIC
Fr. Filemon P. Libot, CMF
Bro. Eugene Plus, FMS
Sr. Amelia G. David, ICM