COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 31 August) — Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo is supporting the call of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for an impartial probe into the August 29 killing of nine Moro farmers in Barangay Aringay, Kabacan, not far from the state-run University of Southern Mindanao.
“Both the Diocese of Kidapawan and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat on Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) are one with the BARMM government in calling for an impartial investigation of the case of 9 Muslims who were summarily executed in Kabacan,” Bagaforo, who also heads CBCP-NASSA, said in a statement.
“We call on everyone, whatever their faith, to offer prayers for peace. May this incident not be the start of further violence,” the Bishop said.
He also called on government leaders “to do everything for justice to the victims and to exert all efforts to maintain peace among us.”
Major Peter Pinalgan Jr, Kabacan town police chief, said eight of the victims died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds in the head and body after they were strafed on the roadside along Aringay Road, near the state-run University of Southern Mindanao campus.
Pinalgan said the nine – eight farmers and a driver – were riding on six motorcycles when they were “allegedly ordered to stop by unidentified suspects and when they all alighted from their respective motorcycles they were shot several times.”
On Sunday, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) announced it will conduct a separate probe into Saturday’s ambush-slay in Kabacan.
“These senseless violent acts have no place in a progressive society, especially at a time when people are in a grip of global pandemic. We want justice,” a statement posted on the FB page of the Bangsamoro Government on Sunday said.
“Although the unfortunate incident happened outside of our area of jurisdiction, all of the victims were identified as Bangsamoros” and “in view of this and the fact that we have received different reports from our communities, the Bangsamoro Government will also be conducting its separate investigation on this brutality.”
It said it was willing to cooperate with the provincial government of North Cotabato and the municipal government of Kabacan “to get into the bottom of this ruthless killing.” (MindaNews)