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2 priests escape ambush on convoy

Filed under: Headlines |

A group of armed men ambushed the convoy of two Catholic priests in Basilan province on Sunday.

Fathers Elmer Cantular and Julius Boado were unharmed in the attack, which occurred at the outskirt of Sumisip town’s Tumahubong village.

Isabela Bishop Martin Jumoad said the priests were on their way to Isabela town when the attack on their security escort, mostly from the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) leading them, happened.

“The Cafgus conducting road security were like a kilometer away from the priests’ vehicle when they were attacked,” Jumoad said.

“And so that’s why the priests and another group of military escorts have to go back to Tumahubong immediately,” he said. “They are safe and remained there until now.”

The priests were just five kilometers away from Tumahubong when the attack occurred.

“From Isabela, they will go to Zamboanga to attend a renewal of vows for seminarians. The incident was alarming so they did not push through,” he said.

Immediately after the incident, the bishop immediately met with police, military, and government officials of Basilan province.

Jumoad said that as far as he knows, no members of paramilitary were hurt in the ambush.

“We agreed to visit the priests tomorrow to also show our moral support to them,” he said.

Basilan, one of the islands in the southern Mindanao region, is where the bandit Abu Sayyaf Group was established in the late 1980s.

The media has dubbed it the “wild west” of the Philippines after witnessing rampant abductions and killings of priests, nuns, tourists and residents in the area. [RL/CBCPNews]

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