MANILA, July 7, 2009 — The influential Roman Catholic bishops’ leadership strongly condemned Tuesday the spate of deadly bombings in Mindanao.
In the latest incidents on Tuesday, two explosions – one outside a Catholic Church in Jolo, Sulu, another adjacent to a military vehicle in Iligan City, and two others at a transmission tower in Lanao Del Norte.
The incident in Jolo was the deadliest of the four wherein six people died and caused injuries to 40 others, and occurred at 7:45 a.m. right after the Mass at the Mount Carmel cathedral.
Over the weekend, there were attacks outside a cathedral in Cotabato City and in Barangay Buayan in Datu Piang town in Maguindanao province which also resulted to deaths and injuries.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo described the situation “alarming”.
The bishops are currently gathered in Tagaytay City for their annual retreat until Thursday.
“The bishops in their retreat prayerfully express condolence to the families of the innocent victims of explosion in Cotabato and Jolo,” Lagdameo said.
From the church’s perspective, he said, the spate of bombings is unacceptable and the authorities should send a strong message that said type of incidents is wrong.
“We appeal to the perpetuators to desist from their violence and to bring their concerns to proper forum,” said Lagdameo.
“We join the local bishops in their call for sobriety, we join the pope in condemning recourse to violence in solving existing problems," he added.
Pope Benedict XVI earlier deplored Sunday’s “heinous” bomb attack outside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cotabato City that killed five civilians.
The pontiff said resorting to violence never solved anything.
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, for his part, called on to those who are behind the attacks to “spare the civilians.”
“We are making our appeal to whoever is responsible for these (bombings) to come to their senses. Let’s spare the civilians,” he said. (Roy Lagarde)
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