Freed priest to be given time off-A A +A
Friday, September 13, 2013
FREED hostage Fr. Michael Ufana is free to take his time off considering the ordeal he went through while being held hostage by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the Zamboanga City crisis.
According to Archdiocese of Zamboanga Administrator Msgr. Crisologo Manongas, Ufana will be given enough time to rest and regain his strength after he was freed Friday, the fifth day of the Zamboanga City standoff.
"We are concerned with the well-being of Fr. Michael so we will make sure that he is well taken cared off and be given due rest he needs after his ordeal," said Manongas.
"His mother, sister and younger brother were able to escape. Maybe they want to have a reunion or whatever. I’m not sure. We will give him the freedom to decide whatever he wants," he also said.
Manongas said having Ufana go on leave is acceptable as it will not affect operations of the archdiocese.
"We have enough priests in the diocese. We also have pending ordinations. We are just waiting for our bishop. No problem. That will not affect the ministry of the archdiocese," said Manongas.
MNLF released Ufana on Friday after he was reportedly trapped in Barangay Sta. Catalina at the time the rebel group occupied several villages in the city last Monday.
Asked how he knew of the priest's release, he said he has heard numerous media reports regarding Ufana's release.
"I wanted to hear his voice to confirm. There was an audio but it was not very clear. There was no video footage. When I was able to talk to him, I was elated and so glad. I even texted all the priests about what happened," said Manongas.
He said he is already planning to personally visit Ufana as soon as possible.
"As soon as I'm given the chance, I will see him. I already asked the authorities if I can see him personally. I'm just waiting," said Manongas.
Currently, Ufana is undergoing debriefing by the Philippine National Police (PNP). (HDT/Sunnex)