Cotabato, Philippines, May 25, 2017 / 12:27 pm
A Filipino cardinal has prayed for the release of Catholic hostages held by Islamist militants who have seized parts of a city on Mindanao, appealing to Muslim leaders to help secure their release.
"I pray for the safety of all the hostages. I appeal to the consciences of the hostage takers not to harm the innocent as the Islamic faith teaches. I appeal to religious leaders of Islam to influence the hostage takers to release the hostages unharmed," Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato told Radio Veritas.
"For God's will is the safety of innocent people. May the loving God protect the people of Marawi," said the cardinal, whose see is also on Mindanao.
Militants of the Maute group stormed the city of Marawi, on the southern Philippines island Mindanao, on Tuesday. The group, formed in 2012, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2015.