BUC appeals for compassion, human solidarity

DAVAO CITY, October 12, 2008—The Bishops Ulama Conference (BUC) has issued an appeal for compassion and human solidarity in behalf of the civilian population caught in the crossfire of the present conflict in Central Mindanao.

In a statement signed by the two BUC co-convenors Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla and Bishop Emeritus Hilario M. Gomez of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), the BUC “strongly appeal for the welfare of the unfortunate civilian victims of the ongoing bloody conflict in Northern and Central Mindanao.”

“If, as we were to understand, violent encounters have become inevitable in view of the current campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to pursue, capture, and bring to justice the three (3) MILF commanders, we make this urgent appeal to both, AFP and MILF parties, combatants and other armed groups: Spare the innocent civilian population,” it further stated.

The BUC co-convenors also appealed for more help especially to the evacuees who have been displaced by war.

“We appeal for more, and continue providing these help to the evacuees now temporarily living in several areas in Northern and Central Mindanao,” read the statement signed October 11.

But, the convenors also recognize the efforts of individuals, groups and organizations who responded to the immediate need of the evacuees for food, clothing, shelter and medicine.

The BUC also expressed concern on the traumatic experiences of those who were victims of war, especially children and young people.

“We appeal to individuals, groups as well as institutions which have the training and expertise to conduct psycho-social interventions and counseling to start the healing of the physical and spiritual wounds leading to forgiveness, reconciliation and wholeness of life,” it said.

The convenors also “hope and pray to the God of peace of all people for a genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao.”

“We do this as instruments of peace serving all peoples in Mindanao,” it added. (Mark S. Ventura)(CBCPNews)

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