Noy to Pope Francis: Government doing its best to protect citizens
(The Philippine Star) - December 30, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang yesterday welcomed Pope Francis’ call to stop the spate of killings in Mindanao, saying the Aquino administration is doing its best to ensure the safety of its citizens.

“Government troops are conducting intensive operations to protect the citizens,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.  

“We affirm the call made by His Holiness Pope Francis for peace and security through dialogue and tolerance in the aftermath of the senseless killing of innocent civilians in attacks claimed by the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters),” Coloma said.

In a message transmitted through Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s secretary of state, the pope said he was deeply saddened over the killings by BIFF gunmen and sent his condolences to the families of the victims.

“His Holiness prays that security and safety will be established for all people in the region, so that dialogue, tolerance and peace may enable each person to live free from fear,” Parolin said.

The BIFF reportedly killed seven farmers in separate attacks in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat before dawn on Thursday last week.

Residents affected by hostilities urged the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to help prevent a repeat of the BIFF attacks.

The two panels are bound by interim security agreements, including the 1997 agreement on cessation of hostilities, to cooperate in addressing security concerns in areas where there are MILF forces. – Delon Porcalla, John Unson

ACIRC BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN DELON PORCALLA HIS HOLINESS HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS HOLY SEE JOHN UNSON MAGUINDANAO AND SULTAN KUDARAT MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT POPE FRANCIS
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