Prayers sought for peaceful, safe Asean summit
MANILA — Catholic bishops urged the faithful on Monday to pray for the Philippines as it hosts the 30th Association of South East Asian Nations summit in Manila this week.
The prelates were united in saying that the Catholic Church could help in securing the high-profile meeting from April 26 to 29 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
Novaliches bishop emeritus Teodoro Bacani has urged the public to pray for the successful security arrangements for the summit, which will be attended by heads of state from all over the world.
The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will deploy 40,000 security and emergency personnel to thwart any security threat to the three-day high-level meeting.
The government has yet to monitor any specific threat against the summit, but security forces are not leaving anything to chance especially with the recent Abu Sayyaf attack in Inabanga, Bohol.
Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez agreed as he stressed the importance of prayer and vigilance among the public during the summit.
For Lipa Archbishop emeritus Ramon Arguelles, the faithful should pray not only for a successful hosting of the ASEAN summit this week, but for a peaceful region as well.
“This should however be done constantly, not only when big shots come around,” Arguelles said.
Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco also appealed to the public to avoid areas where the meetings will take place, or where the heads of state will pass through in their convoys.
Traffic rerouting will be implemented in Pasay City for the duration of the summit, with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority warning of heavy traffic in specific areas.
“Aside from praying for their safety, we can avoid perhaps areas that will worsen the traffic problem,” Ongtioco added. SFM/rga