A call for sobriety, solidarity for the release of Fr. Carlo Bossi

On this very unfortunate incident, Lihuk Katawhan, a loose network of progressive individuals in the province, expresses it deepest concern over the kidnapping of the man of God whose life of comfort he left in order to be of service to the people. At the same, we express our equally deep concern on the fate of the communities — especially the communities where the children, women, and the elderly live — as massive military operations are being undertaken in those areas in search for Fr. Carlo and his abductors.

We equally appeal to the perpetrators to retain their sense of civility to care for the well-being of Fr. Carlo while remaining as their captives. That the perpetrators may, in one divine moment, realize the gravity of the situation and its adverse political, social, and religious consequences which might further divide us in the already deeply divided communities. In the same breath, we appeal to the police and military authorities who are in command of the ground operations to ensure the safety and welfare of the people especially the children, women, and the elderly as well as the guarantee to uphold the people's civil liberties even in this trying moment.

As the military operations for the safe release of Fr. Carlo are on-going, Lihuk Katawhan expresses our solidarity for those who love and care for Fr. Bossi and as well as those peoples and communities who are now bearing the brunt of the massive military operations on the ground. We join hands with all of those who care for the safe release of Fr. Carlo the soonest time possible.

Let us turn this incident as a time for us to express our solidarity as Sibugaynons whatever creed or color you belong. Instead of finger-pointing which might lead to further exacerbate the deeply-seated biases against each other, let us be united and finally learn our lessons well and move forward as one people under one God.

We also call on the leaders of the province to take this matter not only of immediate concern but should serve as a lesson for us to finally develop a pro-active and people-centered peace and security agenda in order to prevent incidents like this to happen again.