MANILA July 7, 2009—The academic community of Notre Dame University in Cotabato, composed of almost 4,500 students, faculty members and non-teaching personnel condemned the bombing last Sunday at the vicinity of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in downtown Cotabato City where five persons died and some 30 others wounded.
In a statement signed by Notre Dame University President Fr. Eduardo G. Tanudtanud, OMI and sent to CBCPNews, the community said the explosion caused deaths, hurt and trauma to innocent civilians, “most of them children and students.”
They described the incident as “terroristic act” as they join the families and loved ones of those who died and were injured in their call for peace and justice.
They have expressed their demand to authorities to secure and protect the people and ensure peace and order in the troubled city.
They also asked the city government led by Mayor Muslimin Sema to “exert all efforts to intensify security measures by maintaining high police visibility, for the welfare of the people of the city,” as they appealed to all media organizations to fully exercise their mandate to properly disseminate information to the public and bring out the truth.
The entire academic community called on everyone to support the authorities’ efforts through increased vigilance and responsible reporting of suspicious behavior of individuals or groups.
They also called for sobriety and rationality “to persevere for peace, intercultural understanding and cooperation” as they appealed to everyone “to continuously work for harmony despite fear and grief, and to remain steadfast in our faiths.”
Notre Dame University in Cotabato serves the educational requirements of both Christians and Muslims for the past 61 years.
Missionaries from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) established Notre Dame College in 1948 with Fr. Robert E. Sullivan as its first Rector and Dean with 128 students and eight faculty members. From then on, it has continuously metamorphosed into a university and landmark of Cotabato City. (Melo M. Acuna)
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