Philippines: priest mourns parishioners lost in landslide

 Father Bonito Labrador, parish priest of the church of St Augustine in Catmon, has spoken of his grief at the loss of 3,000 people from the nearby village of Guinsaugon, who were buried on Friday by a mudslide. Speaking with the Missionary News Service, he said: "I love these people. Tomorrow I was supposed to celebrate Mass for them." Fr Bonito said some of the bodies of "adults, children and newborns" pulled from the mud, were now in his church, a few kilometres from the scene of the disaster. Among the dead was a young man who the parish priest was helping discern a religious life. Inhabitants from other villages in the area have been evacuated now for fear of further mudslides. Several dozen families are now staying at St Augustine's. Fr Bonito said: "We sheltered them in our education centre, where we also teach catechism. Today some trucks arrived to take them all to St Bernard, where some assistance centres were set up in schools and other parishes, but three families decided to stay and we are taking care of them." Rescue efforts were still continuing yesterday. On Saturday, 50 people were rescued from the mud alive and 50 bodies were found. It is estimated that the mudslide buried between 2,500 and 3,000 people, including 206 children, trapped in a primary school. Source: MISNA

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