SLB supports ADZU's Statement on the Basilan Issue

We are saddened by the recent kidnapping of Father Gian Carlo Bossi and the resulting military-MILF encounter in Basilan which brought about the loss of lives of soldiers.
We share the grief of the bereaved families and comrade-in-arms of the Philippine Marines who died in the encounter. We support their call for justice.

We are worried though by the call for retaliation and punitive action to exact revenge from those who desecrated and mutilated the bodies of the fallen soldiers.

We express grave concern for the safety and security of innocent civilians and non-combatants who are in danger of being caught in the ensuing military operations.
We likewise fear for the dire consequences of an all-out clash between the military and the MILF on the gains of the peace initiatives in the area.

We support the conduct of an expeditious investigation by an impartial body to ferret out the facts of the encounter between the Philippine Marines and the MILF and we appeal to the military to allow the probe body to conclude their investigation before starting any military operations against the MILF.

We call on all concerned to cooperate and assist the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) in the conduct of their investigation so that truth will surface and the culprits will be brought to justice.

In the light of the critical and volatile situation in Basilan, we appeal to all our people to remain calm and exercise utmost sobriety so as not to exacerbate the situation.

Lastly, our dream is to have peace founded on real development. This is at once our prayer and our task.

Fr Angel Calvo CMF
President, Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) Foundation Inc.,

Fr Sebastiano D’Ambra PIME
President, Silsilah Dialogue Movement

Atty Arsenio L Gonzalez Jr
Chair, Movement for Better Zamboanga

Fr Antonio F Moreno SJ
President, Ateneo de Zamboanga University

Msgr Romulo G Valles DD
Archbishop, Archdiocese of Zamboanga