Statement on the October 23 Ambush in Tumahubong

Tumahubong, Sumisip, Basilan. Armed men opened fire at a truck load of workers in Barangay Kandiis, Sumisip, Basilan. Six workers died. As news reach the Claretian Community, this message was immediately sent out to condemn this evil act:

Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute, deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3,4b

Today at 6:00 in the morning a truck load of workers from Tumahubong drove to their death, as unidentified armed men ambushed these defenseless civilians in Barangay Kandiis, Sumisp, Basilan. Six workers were immediately killed and seven others were critically injured. Among the six killed three were Catholics, two Christians and a Muslim. These are family men out to do their daily duty to provide for their families by working as toppers in a rubber plantation. Family man who earn just enough for daily sustenance, caught in this senseless masquerade of arm conflict, political reluctance and economic greed.

As the psalmist cry in deep anguish, we the Claretian Missionaries sores our throats to cry for justice for these pointless massacre of innocent lives. We condemn fiercely the violence in Basilan now spreading indiscriminately. We vanquish the evil that swallows this paradise in the Philippines. Stop this mindless killings in Basilan.

We bow down with our heads between our bended knees in prayer for the families of these men whose lives were destroyed by this incident. May the love of Christ’s who first suffered for us grant you comfort in this desolate times. We pray to the God of mercy for the souls of the victims, that the doors of heaven be opened wide for them and grant them peace. And may justice be granted swiftly. We pray for the communities in Basilan to holdfast in their faith and be united in this time of pain as we share in your agony. Let us not allow the grip of evil overpower us.

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