In June, an online report from various blogs came up with a story about how the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) allegedly agreed to the offer from the Maute group to release the hostaged priest in exchange for the Maute brothers’ parents.
We looked for the story on Facebook and found it being shared by blogs like philnewscourier.blogspot.pe, globalnews.favradio.fm, and pinoypasikat.tk. It was also shared by the page “Favradio.”
The CBCP allegedly said yes to the deal with Maute to release the hostaged Catholic priest, Fr. Chito Suganob, in exchange for the terrorists’ parents.
The article quoted the CBCP statement reportedly released on June 27: “It’s a very sensitive matter. Let’s leave it to the government and Fr. Chito’s bishop to decide on the matter. But if his release will cause the Maute parents to be released too, then we are happy to agree. Our only wish is for the safe release of the hostages.”
The other claims in the article are true, such as those about eight Muslim leaders meeting with Abdullah Maute, one of the brothers leading the Maute terrorists, who reportedly offered to release Suganob in exchange for the safety of his parents and other relatives or those about the Maute brother offering to leave Marawi if the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will not take part in the war against them. These reports can be verified by this report by the Inquirer.
It was also true that the Palace, through Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, said that they will still observe the government policy to not negotiate with terrorists.
What we’d like to point out though is the misleading twist that the article put into the CBCP statement about the Maute’s offer to exchange hostages.
What they really said was this: “It’s a sensitive matter. Let’s leave it to the government and Fr. Chito’s bishop to decide on the matter. Our only wish is for the safe release of the hostages.”
The CBCP did not mention anything about this sentence: “But if his release will cause the Maute parents to be released too, then we are happy to agree.” The claims that they agreed to swap the hostaged priest with the Maute parents is simply untrue.
But we also found out that the site, philnewscourier.blogspot.com, also shared the fake story about the CBCP asking the mother of the 13-year-old victim of attempted sexual abuse by a priest to forgive the priest and Trillanes planning to request Facebook, Google to delete his BBC interview.
This fake report surfaced in June, but the Maute brothers’ father, Cayamora, died on August 27 due to health reasons, according to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
On September 9, Duterte rejected Omar Maute’s proposal to free some hostages in exchange for the safe exit of some of their followers.
What Duterte wanted was for the Maute terrorists to surrender.
“This has to end. This cannot go on. If they surrender, we will try them, give them due process, provide them with a lawyer,” Duterte said.
“There will be no oppression or harassment or anything. No violence will be inflicted upon them if they surrender. That I could guarantee to you,” he added.
There has been several fake news about the CBCP that we’ve busted, such as the CBCP asking for donations to pay for priest’s legal fees after he was arrested with a 13-year-old girl, telling the Bulacan massacre dad to forgive and forget, and pushing for a “Legion of Honor Award” for former President Benigno Aquino III.
The CBCP did not agree to any Maute deal over the hostaged priest. This is just one of the several fake stories about the CBCP. The blogs simply added another sentence to CBCP’s real statement to misinform people.