MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — A Catholic bishop in the southern Philippines is backing a military campaign against Abu Sayyaf militants, who claim to have links with the Islamic State group.
“The Abu Sayyaf is a terrorist group and it is not for dialogue,” said Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela, in Basilan province. His remarks were reported by ucanews.com.
“They must be destroyed,” said the bishop, adding that it is time that the terror group is “dismantled and apprehended.”
Bishop Jumoad made the statement following the Aug. 24 beheading of a teenage boy in the town of Indanan. Abu Sayyaf beheaded the kidnap victim after his family failed to pay a 1 million peso (US$21,500) ransom. The terrorist group continues to hold at least 20 hostages, including nine Indonesian sailors, in Sulu province, ucanews.com reported.
In response, President Rodrigo Duterte, who has vowed to crush Abu Sayyaf during his term, ordered the deployment of more troops in the group’s stronghold. The Philippine military estimates Abu Sayyaf has about 300 to 400 men, mostly in Basilan and Sulu provinces in Mindanao.
“My heart bleeds upon learning of the beheading of the 18-year old boy. The government must stop and destroy this group,” Bishop Jumoad said, adding he hopes Duterte will be successful in destroying Abu Sayyaf.
“The bandits are just laughing at the order of the president. I hope the order of President Duterte will be executed by the military,” he said.
The U.N. Security Council has blacklisted Abu Sayyaf for having ties to al-Qaida.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103