The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has deplored the bombing at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City that killed four Catholic faithful and injured 50 others.
In a statement, CBCP President Pablo Virgilio S. David said: “Such violence should not only be denounced; it should also be renounced as a way of seeking redress by every peace-loving Filipino.”
This, as Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing in the gymnasium of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City that transpired during the first Sunday of Advent on Sunday, December 3.
Bishop David said, “A group of Catholics was gathered together for the Eucharist to mark the beginning of a new liturgical season and to light the candle for the first Sunday of Advent. The perpetrators had chosen that very occasion to detonate a bomb.”
“Surely, the killers who precipitated such a horrendous act of violence have their loved ones too. What would it take to get them to see in the families of their victims their own families?,” asked Bishop David.
Said Bishop David: “We have just celebrated “Red Wednesday” last November 29, to remember our fellow Christians who, for sheer love of their faith, have suffered from violence and persecution around the world. The casualties in this morning’s bombing are now counted among them.
“We take comfort in the thought that they have participated in the passion of Christ, that their blood has been poured out as a libation like the blood of Christ. They professed their faith at that last Mass that they attended, especially in the “communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.”
“We hope that the statement issued by the Mindanao State University can still touch the consciences of the perpetrators,: said Bishop David.
The MSU statement read: “Violence has no place in a civilized society, and it is particularly abhorrent in an institution of higher learning like MSU, a bulwark of peace, harmony, solidarity, reverence for life and humanity. This attack is an assault on our core values and our commitment to creating a safe and inclusive community for all.”
“We could not agree more. With them we reaffirm our unrelenting commitment to peace and our repudiation of violence,” said Bishop David.
Meanwhile, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has denounced the bombing at MSU and Marawi communities assuring the government is on top of the situation and helping the victims of the terrorist attack.
Said President Marcos: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists upon the Mindanao State University (MSU) and Marawi communities early this Sunday morning. Extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society.”
“I extend my most heartfelt condolences to the victims, their loved ones, and the communities that have been the target of this latest assault on peace. Government assistance to those impacted is ready and forthcoming.”