Bishops ‘deeply saddened’ over Sabah bloodshed

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MANILA, March 5, 2013— The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is “deeply saddened” over the escalating conflict in Sabah as they called on the faithful to pray for end to violence in the region. 

CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the problem in Sabah must be addressed immediately to prevent further loss of lives. 

“As of now we are encouraging for prayers, prayers that are spontaneous and sincere. A prayer for peace and end to all of this,” Palma said. 

The fighting between Malaysian forces and followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III over the ownership of the disputed land cannot be solved with violence, he said. 

According to the CBCP head, parties involved should practice tolerance to prevent further bloodshed. 

The prelate admitted that the land dispute is complicated matter but must be addressed in a peaceful way. 

“Well, we felt that this is something very complex. What we are saying is that we leave it to the diplomats, but rest assured that we are praying for peace in Sabah,” said Palma. 

“We are not in the position to discuss the sovereignty and ownership, and of course what is best to do in this situation,” he added. 

Malaysia yesterday moved to beef up security in the disputed area where at least 30 people have been reportedly killed since last week. (CBCPNews)

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