03 April 2009

Filipino Red Cross worker released by kidnappers

Today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer carries the good news of the release of Mary Jean Lacaba (far left in photo), the Filipina Red Cross worker abducted on 15 January in Sulu in the southern Philippines along with Italian Eugenio Vagni and Adreas Notter. The report carries no news about their whereabouts. See post on 1 April.

Meanwhile, CBCPNews yesterday carried a request from Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), for the nation to pray for the safety of the hostages:
Nation asked to pray for abducted ICRC workers

MANILA, April 2, 2009—The public is asked to pray for the three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who are being held captive by the Abu Sayyaf since January.

For the next following days, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in a statement, said they are encouraging the faithful to pray for victims’ safety.

“We exhort our Filipino brothers and sisters to reach out to both kidnappers and their hostages with prayers. Let it be a whole nation praying that all may experience true freedom and security,” CBCP President Angel Lagdameo said Wednesday.

“May healing and forgiveness take place, hostilities cease and peace prevail,” he added.

Filipino Mary-Jean Lacaba, Italian Eugenio Vagni, and Swiss Andreas Notter were abducted by the al-Qaeda-linked group on January 15 in Jolo, Sulu.

“We join people of good will in condemning these kidnappings, such as those that recently happened in Jolo, Zamboanga and Ipil, even as we sympathize with the victims and their families and beg the Lord to touch the hearts of the kidnappers,” Lagdameo said.

The CBCP also appealed to both the kidnappers and the authorities “to use every peaceful means to address through peaceful process whatever is at the root of this ongoing problem of kidnapping in order that there may be peace in Jolo, in Mindanao and the whole country.”

“We appeal to all groups of kidnappers in the name of our common humanity and in the name of the One Merciful and Just God whom we worship to grant freedom to their captives,” it added. (Roy Lagarde)
Please continue to pray for the safety of Eugenio Vagni from Italy and Andreas Notter from Swizerland.

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