Philippines: Catholic bishop warns against Islamic threats on Mindanao
August 13, 2010
An Islamic separatist group, the Moros Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has threatened a military offensive in the southern Philippines. A bishop from the region responds: “The threat is uncalled for.”
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo was responding to a statement by MILF leader Ebrahim Murad, who said that the MILF is planning for war, since negotiations with the government have been suspended. The newly installed president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, has promised to resume the talks after the Muslim feast of Ramadan. Bishop Bagaforo emphasized: “It is urgent that both sides sit down and start negotiations.”
The MILF is fighting for autonomous rule over the southern Mindanao region. Bishop Bagaforo warned that public threats from the Islamic group could lead Christians in the region to arm themselves, increasing the likelihood of bloodshed.