‘MSU returning back to normal but on high alert after bombing’
MANILA, Philippines – The Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi is returning to normalcy but will still be observing heightened security measures according to the university’s president.
MSU- Marawi was bombed on Sunday, killing four and injuring 50 individuals.
In a video message posted on Facebook, Atty. Basari D. Mapupuno said that MSU has conducted assessments together with the government’s security forces and have determined that the campus can go back to normal.
“After many consultations and assessments conducted in the campus immediately after the attack, the AFP and the PNP have declared that the campus can now return to normalcy,” he said on Monday evening.
“The MSU administration has been on the alert, and working since yesterday round the clock, with the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines], the PNP [Philippine National Police], and other relevant agencies to investigate the incident and to formulate and put into place measures that will greatly aid in preventing another tragedy like this from happening,” Mapupuno added.
MSU is also coordinating with authorities to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice, the university’s president stressed.
“The campus is on full alert, with heightened police visibility and intensified checkpoints. We have also created a special investigation task force for the apprehension of the suspects/persons of interest and the filing of criminal charges,” he added.
Apart from these measures, Mapupuno said that MSU has been provided with one company from the PNP Regional Battalion and another uniformed personnel from the AFP to assist its existing Peace Keeping Force (PKF).
Psychosocial interventions such as stress debriefing will also be conducted to provide mental health support for victims of the blast and other constituents of the university.
Regarding the students’ academics, the university’s president noted that he will convene with MSU officials to provide solutions to the issues left in the wake of the tragedy.
“As soon as we come to a consensus on what is to be done for the remainder of this semester, we will disseminate the details,” he said,
Mapupuno likewise quelled the claims that the attack will cause a rift between Christians and Muslims.
“We must remember that terrorism recognizes no religion nor socio-economic background,” he said.
“What happened is not only an attack on our Christian brothers and sisters, it is an attack on all who work, study, and live in this campus,” he said.
The MSU System President, after expressing sympathy towards the victims of the blast, went on to tell the university to move on.
“I strongly exhort the MSU Main community to stand up and aid MSU to move on from what had happened. We must not let our grief debilitate us,” he said.
The university’s information office, in a post on Facebook, has released the photos and identities of the four individuals who were killed in the blast on Sunday.
The fatalities are Junrey Barbante, Janine Arenas, Evangeline Aromin, and Riza Daniel.
The MSU has extended their sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims, expressing that a part of them died along with the individuals who were killed.
Following the incident, the MSU campus in General Santos City also tightened security in their campus on Tuesday.