Statement of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baguio on the recent super typhoon Ompong
To the Faithful of the Diocese of Baguio and Other Concerned People
Even with great sadness in our heart, we offer our prayers to all the victims of the super typhoon Ompong especially those who perished due to landslides and we convey our profound sympathy and condolences to their grieving families. It is difficult enough to witness the devastation around us —the damages to roads, homes, crops, livelihood, and other facilities. But even more tragic that human lives have been lost. We earnestly pray for them.
We commend all those members of disaster response groups for their heroic efforts in the preparation, assessment and coordination, relief, rescue and retrieval operations, including all concerned people for the outpouring of spiritual and moral support, and for various goods they contributed to help our affected brethren. We continue to assist the victims until they can stand again.
We urge everyone to avoid every kind of insensitive remarks, false accusations, and inappropriate name calling that cause more harm than comfort. Let us stop using the misery of others as a tool for selfish propaganda that does nothing to ease their sorrow but instead sow confusion and further division. We are a better people than this. Let us move from the prevailing politics of blaming and shaming to the gospel of sincere concern for the poor and marginalized. These difficult times certainly call for human solidarity and cooperation.
With our common resolve to help the victims, let us rise to the occasion and prove once again that —united as one people of Baguio and Benguet —no super typhoon can dampen our hope, no tragedy can ever defeat the greatness of the human spirit and our faith in God. I commend everyone to the love and mercy of God. God bless us all!
+VICTOR B. BENDICO, D.D.
Bishop of Baguio