On May 3, 2000, a quiet, simple missionary priest who had been held in captivity since March 20 that year, along with some teachers from the Claret School of Tumahubong in Sumisip, Basilan, died in the crossfire between the Abu Sayyaf group that had captured them, and the Philippine military forces who were trying to rescue them.



The martyrdom of Claretian missionary Fr. Rhoel Gallardo, CMF, originally from Zambales but who was missioned to remote Tumahubongin Basilan as school director, as well as those of his companions, has been written and told many times over.

In commemoration of Fr. Gallardo’s 15th death anniversary, the book Witness: Mission Stories of Basilan, edited by two-time awardee of the Philippines’ National Book Award for Journalism, Jose “Joe” Torres, will be launched on May 23, 2015 (Saturday), 2:00 – 5:00 pm, at the Bulwagang Claret of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Church, Mahinhin St., U.P. Village, Diliman, Quezon City.

While there have been essays and publications about the bigger Mindanao situation, Witness: Mission Stories of Basilan contains stories of Claretian missionaries who have committed themselves to journey with the people as “witnesses” to the Gospel amid all odds and threats to their lives.

It is hence with great pleasure that we cordially invite you to the launching of this timely book.

We look forward to your presence at the book’s launching day.

Very truly yours,

Mission Procurator
Claretian Missionaries, Philippine Province

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