Three months after the deadly massacre of more than 20 Christian journalists in this island region of the Philippines, a lady pastor and her 12-year-old daughter, were brutally killed by still unidentified men in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, on Wednesday night, government authorities reported on Thursday, reports Noel Tarrazona, special correspondent to ASSIST News Service.
Juliet Catalan, 50, a pastor of the Born Again Christian group, was found in her backyard with several hack wounds to the head and body, according to Police Officer Ronaldo Patricio.
Patricio and Datu Odin Sinsuat, the local police chief, said Catalan’s daughter, Chelle, was found bloodied and dead inside the living room.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Daily Inquirer broadsheet reported that the twin killings could have occurred at about 9 p.m., on Wednesday, when neighbors alerted the police about what they described as "unusual yelling" inside the well-fenced compound of Catalan’s home in Barangay Dinaig.
Patricio said there was no indication of possible forced entry so the police believed the victims knew the attacker or attackers.
He said the killers had used a big axe, based on the injuries suffered by the victims.
Gammar Hassan, a respected Muslim leader doing missionary work amongst Christians, described the suspects as “violent and merciless.”
At the back of the compound is the Born Again chapel where the 50-year-old pastor was apparently heading to pray.
“She was found sprawling near the chapel,” Patricio said, indicating she ran toward the chapel during the attack.
Personal properties were scattered inside the house and police theorized the suspects were looking for something valuable.
The island region has the highest incidence of persecuted Christians doing missionary work. It was also in this region where a suspected man lobbed a bomb grenade at visiting Christian missionaries from the MV Doulos, while priests and missionaries have also been kidnapped.
Report from the Christian Telegraph