By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People is praying for the safety and the release of the five Filipinos abducted in Libya and Iraq.
"We, at CBCP ECMI, will continue to pray and offer holy masses for their safety and freedom," ECMI Chairman and Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said in a statement.
The prelate, who was disheartened by the news, said they are also praying for the change of hearts of the perpetrators so that they will release the Filipinos safe and unharmed.
"May they realise that through God's mercy and power, they and Filipinos are peace-loving people," said Santos.
"They come, migrate to other countries with sole intention to help their employers and their loved ones whom they left behind. They come, migrate to serve, to make lives of all better, especially in those hospitals they minister to," he added.
The Balanga prelate then appealed to government authorities to exhaust all means to free the abducted Filipinos.
The CBCP official asked diocesan ministries to pray and assist those families affected in their parishes.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the five Filipinos were taken by armed men in two separate incidents in the two countries on Friday.