Pope Francis condemns
the recent killings in Mindanao
MANILA, Dec. 29 (PNA) -- Pope Francis has condemned the "senseless
attacks" that killed at least nine civilians in Southern Philippines
In a telegram sent to Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of the Cotabato Archdiocese
by the Pontiff’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Monday, the
Holy Father said he was saddened by the killings.
“The Holy Father was deeply saddened to learn on the senseless killing of
innocent people in Mindanao, and he sends condolences to the families of
those who lost their lives,” the statement read.
It was reported that the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) killed
seven farmers and two other civilians in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao and
North Cotabato provinces on Christmas eve.
Responding Army soldiers also killed four rebels in the Sultan Kudarat
The Pope is hoping that security and safety “will be established” in the
troubled region “so that dialogue, tolerance and peace may enable each
person to live free from fear.”
“He asks all believers to reject violence in the name of God who is love,
and invokes abundant divine gifts of consolation, mercy and strength upon
those affected by this tragedy,” added the statement.
At the same time, Pope Francis also called on the faithful to join him in
praying for the victims and their families.
In 2010, the BIFF separated from the mainstream Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) due to disagreements over the peace deal with the government to
end the long decades of turmoil in Mindanao. (PNA)