It is with great sadness that we, your bishops, received the news of the crash of a C-130 aircraft in Jolo, Sulu. The Armed Forces of the Philippines said the plane was transporting troops from Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao to Sulu province when it missed the runway on the island of Jolo. The soldiers on the flight were “fresh graduates and had just completed military training” and were “supposed to join other soldiers in the fight against terrorism.”

As your pastors, we share the pain of loss that this recent news has brought us. We condole with the families and friends of the several soldiers and civilians who were killed by the crash.

To our merciful Lord we commend the souls of our departed soldiers, and we invoke His healing hands upon those who have survived and who have sustained injuries.

We enjoin all our sisters and brothers – Christians, Muslims, as well as all people of good will – to continue to be united – in solidarity and prayer – with the search and retrieval team of our armed forces, those who are recovering in hospitals, and the families of the deceased.

In this time of sorrow, may we find consolation in the words of the apostle Paul: “We know that in everything God works for good.” (Rom 8, 28)

Assuring you of our prayers and solidarity in this time of grief, I remain

For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines:

Archbishop of Davao
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
06 July 2021