Villegas denies report CBCP regretted Hapilon, Maute’s death
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) denied on Tuesday the widely-circulated report on social media that it regretted the killing of extremist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute, calling it “fake news.”
CBCP President Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that the organization never made such statement and instead lauded the bravery and heroic efforts of the soldiers.
“Once more, CBCP is the hapless victim of fake news. Going viral on social media is a “report” that the CBCP regrets the killing of misters Hapilon and Maute. The CBCP never made such a statement,” Villegas said in a statement.
“On the contrary we laud the gallantry of our soldiers and their heroic efforts to free Marawi. We will gladly join government in rebuilding the city in the measure we are able. We pray for all the dead, and for lasting peace in Mindanao,” he added.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Monday the death of Hapilon and Maute, known to be the brains of the Marawi City siege, as troops launched an assault in the city’s main battle zone, leading to the rescue of 17 hostages.
Their death ended the nearly five-month long battle in Marawi City.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared the city’s liberation on Tuesday.
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