CBCP: Jolo church blasts ‘further evidence to cycle of hate’
MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Monday deemed the twin blasts in a Jolo church as “further evidence to the cycle of hate” that has been “destroying the moral fabric of the country.”
“For the past few months now, we have observed how the culture of violence has gradually prevailed in our land,” CBCP said in a pastoral statement read by its vice president, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David.
“The recent bombing of the cathedral of Jolo where scores of people were killed and several more were injured is further evidence to the cycle of hate that is destroying the moral fabric of our country,” it added.
Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma also said the bombing at Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday, January 27, “jeopardizes the peace process in Mindanao.”
“This is really an indication that there are extremist groups. We do not condemn the whole cultural community responsible for this, but we feel that it is something that jeopardizes the peace process in Mindanao,” he said.
Ledesma lamented that the double explosions happened just days after the plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which they hoped to bring lasting peace in Mindanao.
“We hope that this bombing of the cathedral will not side track us, the majority communities of both Muslims and Christians, from the path of lasting peace through the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” he said.
The military earlier said it is looking at the Ajang-Ajang faction linked to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) as the perpetrator of the twin blasts. But a report said the Islamic State group owned up to the deadly incident, citing the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activities.
The deadly explosions reportedly occurred while Mass was ongoing, leaving 20 people dead and at least 100 others wounded. /kga
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