MANILA, Philippines — The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines cried foul over a viral post claiming that he condemned the killing of terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute in Marawi City.
“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 Messrs. Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. The CBCP never made such a statement,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a text message to reporters.
The article, titled “CBCP condemns the ‘brutal killing’ of Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon,” was posted on www.okd2.com, a site identified as a regular purveyor of disinformation, particularly about perceives foes of the administration.
“The CBCP never made such a statement. On the contrary, we laud the gallantry of our soldiers and their heroic efforts to free Marawi,” Villegas said.
“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.
On Tuesday, a day after Hapilon and Maute were confirmed to have been killed, President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi City liberated.