Muslim Gunmen Murder Dedicated Church Elder In Philippines; Young Daughter At A Loss Why Her Father Was Killed


Twelve-year-old Naomi could not understand why her father was mercilessly killed by two Muslim gunmen.

Perfecto Padilla, 52, a dedicated church elder, was resting in a hammock just outside his house in Sultan Kudarat, Philippines, when the gunmen on board motorbikes came and peppered him with bullets on Sept. 11, a Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) report says.

Naomi saw what happened, and she immediately ran to her father, crying and screaming for help.

A pastor named William, who was visiting a church member nearby, heard the scream and immediately went to provide assistance. He brought Perfecto to the nearest hospital, but the church elder was dead on arrival.

Naomi and her 10-year-old brother Joseph lost their only parent. Their mother has apparently left them for good when she went overseas to work many years ago and never returned home again.

Naomi was grief-stricken when a VOM representative visited their home.

"Our father was a good father. He never did anything wrong. Why has this happened to him?" she asked.

People who knew Perfecto said he was a faithful follower of Jesus and a dedicated church elder.

The VOM representative noted that the village where the Padilla family lives was once a peaceful place. That was during the time when there were no Muslim residents living nearby yet.

But now, the Muslims have come to the village and even built a mosque very close to the church. The VOM representative said the new Muslim settlers have been trying to force the Christians in the village to sell their property.

Following the Muslim incursion, nearby Christian villages have been attacked by gunmen, prompting some Christian residents to evacuate.

The VOM representative said Perfecto's murder could be part of the Muslims' scheme to drive away Christians in the area so that they could grab more land.