Bishop Martin S. Jumoad of the Prelature of Isabela de Basilan
Fifteen people were killed on Tuesday in Isabela, the capital of Basilan, an island off the southwest coast of Mindanao. (Mindanao is larger than Ireland. Filipinos are islanders in the sense that the people who live on the mainland of Ireland and of Britain are 'islanders', not in the sense of people there who live on small islands. Luzon in the north is larger in area than Mindanao. Very few Filipinos live on 'cartoon islands' - with one coconut tree surrounded by a beach - despite the tourist people of the country who speak of '7,100 islands', most of which are unihabited and unhabitable rocks).
Interior of Sta Isabel Cathedral
MindaNews carries a report on the violence which involved the destruction by a bomb of the priests; rooms attached to the cathedral. The report includes the following:
Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad condemned the bombings as he asked the people to stay calm and cooperate and let authorities do their job.
“I call my people to stay calm. I call the men and women in uniforms, we need the assistance to have neutralized the situation in the cathedral,” he said.
The prelate, who is known to be vocal against the apparent ineffectiveness of the military to solve the Basilan problem, called on the military and police authorities “to neutralize the lawless groups who are responsible for this dastardly act” while calling on the people, including the Pink Sisters from the Carmelite monastery, to pray that there will be peace in Basilan. (Antonio Manaytay/MindaNews contributor).
Exterior of Cathedral
Please pray for the people of Basilan. The Prelature covers an area of 1,359 sqaure kilometers (524 square miles) and had a population in 2004 of 330,000 of whom around 90,000 or 27 percent, were Catholics. Nearly all the others are Muslims.
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