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ICC Note:

On May 23rd, the day the Maute group invaded Marawi, President Duterte declared martial law across the island of Mindanao for 60 days and recently announced an extension. An ecumenical bishops’ group are disheartened at the direction their government is going. So they are opening their sanctuary doors for victims of human rights violations. While the Philippine Catholic Church is supporting Duterte’s decision to extend martial law, these church leaders are not for it and believe it “promotes violence rather than peace.”

07/20/2017 The Philippines (UCA News) – An ecumenical bishops’ group in the Philippines announced that member churches will open its doors as sanctuaries for victims of human rights violations.

The prelates made the announcement after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until December.

The president declared martial law across the southern region of the country on May 23 following a terrorist attack on the city of Marawi.

“The church is always ready to shelter victims of human rights violations,” said Philippine Felixberto Calang of the Philippine Independent Church.

“We never stopped fighting against injustices and violence,” said the Protestant prelate, co-chairman of the Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum.

He said drug-related killings in the country and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao “promote violence rather than peace.”

Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, retired prelate of Kalookan, said that while some Catholic bishops support martial law “generally the church stands for the welfare of its flock.”

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