COTABATO CITY (PNA) – Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of the Diocese of Kidapawan believes that an independent investigation will be able to shed light on the recent murder of nine persons in Kabacan, North Cotabato.
The prelate also expressed full support to the call of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) leadership for a parallel inquiry on the incident.
The victims were onboard motorcycles when they were reportedly ordered to stop by still unidentified assailants, and shot with automatic weapons on a road at the back of the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan on August 29. All of the victims were reportedly unarmed.
Eight of the victims died on the spot, while another was rushed to the hospital but expired hours later.
“Both the Diocese of Kidapawan and the CBCP National Secretariat on Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) are one with the BARMM government in calling for an impartial investigation of the case of nine Muslims who were summarily executed in Kabacan,” said Bagaforo, who also heads CBCP-NASSA, in a statement.
Bagaforo further called on everyone, whatever their faith is, to offer prayers for peace.
“We ask all our government leaders to do everything for justice to the victims and to exert all efforts to maintain peace among us,” he said.
A police investigation is still ongoing to determine the perpetrators and the motive behind the incident.
Col. Henry Villar, provincial police director, has appealed to the public to refrain from posting speculations on the motive and identities of the perpetrators online “so as not to add fuel to the fire”.