Filipino Bishops Call For Peace Following Police Clash with Extremists

43 Policemen Dead After Raid Against Rebels in Maguindanao

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The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) denounced “all forms of violence against human life” following a clash between police forces and Islamic extremists on January 25th.

43 Filipino policemen died during a raid against militants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao. 8 rebels were also among the dead.

In a statement sent to Fides News Agency, Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, President of the Bishop’s Conference, expressed his support for the peace process. He also stressed “the necessity and urgency of reaching a peaceful solution that is inclusive, and appropriate for all.”

“With deep sorrow, but with faith in the resurrection, the Episcopal Conference mourns with the families of the brave police officers, victims of an totally senseless act of violence in Mindanao”, says Mgr. Villegas.

Questions are being raised as to the circumstances that lead to the raid. After years of conflict, a peace deal was reached with the militants, who want to establish Muslim region in the country. The tragic incident further complicates an already shaky peace process.

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