MANILA, July 6, 2009— Fearful of another attack, the Catholic Church has tapped the military to beef up the security of all churches in the Cotabato archdiocese.
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said security measures are now in place following Sunday’s deadly bombing near a cathedral in Cotabato City.
“We will ask the military (to help us in securing our churches). We will also utilize our own people to protect the perimeter of our churches,” he said.
Bagaforo said they have many volunteers from various church-based organizations like the Knights of Columbus, an association of Catholic men, who are willing to help them.
“We will be utilizing them to keep an eye and secure the perimeters of our churches,” he said.
Rogue Muslim rebels were suspected of planting the bomb near a food stall outside the church located along Quezon Avenue corner Makakua Street.
That why, the bishop said, they are also calling on the people to be wary of packages left behind by unidentified people and immediately report them to the authorities.
The incident last Sunday earned the condemnation of the Catholic Church including Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican.
The pontiff decried the bombing near the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, killing at least five people and wounding some 35 others.
He expressed his “deep rejection” of the attack and prayed for the victims who are mostly churchgoers. (Roy Lagarde)
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