Another Mindanao prelate wants end to martial law

Another Mindanao prelate wants end to martial law
Military operations continue in the besieged city of Marawi that has witnessed surgical air strikes and gun fire almost on a daily basis since May, June 28, 2017. CBCPNews

MANILA — Another Catholic archbishop in Mindanao has joined calls to lift martial law in the southern Philippine region.

Aside from raising the alarm over the sharp spike in drug-related killings, Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan De Oro said the ringing of bells in the archdiocese is also a call to end military rule in Mindanao.

“Let this be our call to prayer until the end of martial law – in solidarity with all the affected families in the Marawi crisis, especially those who have lost loved ones,” Ledesma said in a pastoral letter.

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“Our respect for the dignity of every human life also leads us to condole over the loss of lives in the ongoing Marawi crisis – especially the killing of innocent civilians, Muslim or Christian, and military personnel in defense of the country’s sovereignty against wanton terrorism,” he said.

Bishop Edwin dela Peña of the besieged city of Marawi has earlier decried the extension of martial law, saying the first 60-day imposition was enough.

President Duterte sought and was granted by Congress an extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of this year to quell Maute terrorists’ takeover of Marawi.

Dela Peña said military rule has been a “big inconvenience” that affects the mobility of people, commerce, and the transport of goods.

The Marawi prelature, meanwhile, is also launching the “Task Force Duyog Marawi” on Wednesday, Aug. 30, as security forces inch closer toward liberating Marawi.

“Duyog [means] to accompany. Marawi people themselves are doing everything they can to rebuild and then we are accompanying them,” Dela Peña told Radio Veritas. CBCPNews