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ICC Note:

Last week, about 300 gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) invaded the town of Pigcawayan town on the island of Mindanao. During the displacement of hundreds of residents, the gunmen desecrated religious images inside the Catholic chapel in the town. The Cardinal Quevedo of the chapel is calling on all Catholics in the area to “restore the sacredness of their chapel.” With approximately 1,707 displaced people, the military is pursuing the gunmen responsible for the attack.

06/26/2017 The Philippines (UCA News) – Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato has condemned “in the strongest terms possible” the reported desecration of a Catholic chapel by terrorist gunmen in the southern Philippines on June 21.

The incident, in the village of Malagakit, happened when about 300 gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked Pigcawayan town, resulting in the displacement of hundreds of residents.

The BIFF, a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that has signed a peace deal with the government, has pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group.

Chief Inspector Reylan Mamon, the Pigcawayan police chief, said the gunmen destroyed religious images inside the chapel.

“The crucifix and images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ were destroyed while the sacred hosts were thrown all over the floor,” the police chief told ucanews.com

Cardinal Quevedo described the desecration of the chapel as “wicked.”

“Such acts are similar to the desecration of a mosque and the sacred Quran by non-Muslims. Both desecrations are gravely sinful,” said the prelate.

Cardinal Quevedo challenged the leaders of the BIFF to punish its men who desecrated the chapel.

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