We are deeply disturbed and express our sincerest condolences and solidarity to the families and friends of the victims of the twin bombing attacks at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo Sulu during a morning mass last January 27. We are indignant about the loss of lives of innocent civilians and members of the Armed Forces in this senseless and brutal attack.
This is unacceptable. It is a clear attempt on the part of the perpetrators to undermine pursuits towards peace. It shows their contempt to sincere efforts of building bridges between conflicting parties. What is worst, it creates a state of fear, confusion, anger that can hinder us to think clearly, to be critical and remain steadfast in peace building.
“We are very sad and at the same time stunned when we learned about the incident. The victims are just ordinary church goers fulfilling their Sunday duty as Christians. We find this act deplorable. Its timing is appalling and has no place in community struggling to build peace in Mindanao at this point in time”, Community Health Based Program staff of the Diocese of Ipil and PMPI ZAMBASULI Cluster point-person, Joy Teves said.
“We surmise that this was staged in a catholic church, to hide its real intention and instead fan the flames of animosities and divide among Christians and Muslims. Let us not fall into this trap. Let not the carrier of war and violence overshadow the victory of the recently concluded plebiscite on Bangsomoro Organic Law. Its ratification is an affirmation of a people longing and wanting peace to reign in our land”, PMPI National Coordinator Yolly Esguerra said.
We urge the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and make the perpetrators accountable for this atrocious act. We ask our fellow citizens to remain calm and vigilant in the face of this vicious challenge to peace making. And even as we are enraged, we offer prayers to the victims and their families. May they be consoled by the thought that their loved ones are martyrs of Peace. May their demise guide us in our quest for lasting peace in our country.