Bishops mourn military plane crash victims

Bishops mourn military plane crash victims

View of the site after a Philippines Air Force C-130 plane crashed while landing in Patikul, Sulu on July 4, 2021. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOINT TASK FORCE SULU

By CBCP News

July 6, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Catholic bishops ‘share the pain of loss’ of the families whose loved ones have died in the country’s worst military air disaster in decades, a church official said.

Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the bishops’ conference, offered sympathies and condolences over the loss of lives in a military plane crash in Sulu on July 4.

“As your pastors, we share the pain of loss that this recent news has brought us,” Valles said in a statement released Tuesday.

“We condole with the families and friends of the several soldiers and civilians who were killed by the crash,” he said.

The bishops enjoined the public “to continue to be united in solidarity and prayer,” especially with those recovering in hospitals, and the families of the deceased.

“To our merciful Lord we commend the souls of our departed soldiers, and we invoke His healing hands upon those who have survived and who have sustained injuries,” Valles added.

The death toll from the C-130 plane crash rose to 52 on Monday, including three civilians on the ground.

Two more military personnel were confirmed dead on Monday, bringing the death toll among their ranks to 49.

The plane had 96 people on board, mostly young soldiers on their first deployment in Sulu when it missed the runway at Jolo airport.

Meanwhile, 49 soldiers and four other civilians on the ground were injured in the fiery crash.

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