By Mario Casayuran
Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian said yesterday the bombing of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Carmel during Sunday Mass is a sickening, cowardly act of terrorism.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate economic affairs committee, issued this statement as he condemned in the strongest possible terms on the bombing that an international terrorist group, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISA), quickly admitted to be behind it.
Gatchalian said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) must do everything in their power to hunt down and exterminate the despicable animals responsible for this gruesome crime against humanity.
“The government must ensure that places of worship are kept safe and secure at all costs,” he added.
The bombing left more than 20 of our fellow Filipinos dead and many more wounded.
Another lawmaker, Senator Risa Hontiveros, said her heart ‘’goes out to the families of those who suddenly lost their loved ones in this appalling event.’’
“Nothing can justify this merciless, barbaric and diabolical attack on people who were peacefully attending mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,’’ she added.
She, likewise, urged AFP and the PNP to do everything to bring the perpetrators of this atrocity to justice, and to make sure that no similar threats will again endanger the safety of our people, not only in Mindanao, but in the whole country as well.
“It is also my hope that this incident will not derail or thwart our latest successes in paving the way towards lasting, genuine and just peace in Mindanao, especially the recent successful ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). We must not let any act of violence stop us from working as one nation for the cause of peace and progress for all,” she added.