Muslim groups Help Rebuild a Catholic Church

After the conflict in Zamboanga City last September between army combatants against Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) guerillas headed by Nur Misuari, many properties were reported damaged along the frontier of the war.

For almost three months of bondage the residents can still recall that particular hostage taking crisis in which number of casualties, distressed and even rebels arouse.

A number of Muslim volunteers from Zamboanga City surprised residents of the city’s Santa Catalina district when they went to the area bringing carpenters’ tools to help rebuild the Christ the King chapel, a Catholic Church. -Muslim volunteers began working, nailing and sawing lumber and other carpentry activities.

Barangay Santa Catalina Chief Jimmy Villaflores, said that they were also amazed by the Muslim’s act which certainly hastened the rebuilding effort. In fact the chapel is almost 90% complete after the work began.

Father Michael Ufana, Saint Joseph parish priest who was among the hostages during the MNLF seige overwhelmed for Muslims have come to the Christians’ aid.

Environmental, Socio-Psychological, Economic, and Religious Advancement of Neo-Zamboangaenos’ Aspiration (ESPERANZA which also means “hope”) a group that help rebuilt the Catholic church was born after the siege led by Senior Supt. Julmunier Jubail, a police retiree which aimed to rehabilitate the areas devastated by the conflict.

Another retired policeman, Chief Superintendent Sukarno Ikbala, was from US but immediately returned to the country after hearing from Jubail. With the aid of some organizations and private persons they were able to raise fund as muh as P120, 000 used to rebuild the church.

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