By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Sunday condemned the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral, saying it was an “act of terrorism.”
“We condemn this act of terrorism that has taken place only a few days after the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” CBCP president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles said in a statement.
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He said they received the sad news regarding the bombing of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu from Father Romeo S. Saniel, OMI, Apostolic Administrator of Jolo.
Valles expressed the CBCP’s condolences to the families of those killed in the explosions.
“We condole with the families of the several soldiers and civilians who were killed by the explosions,” he said.
“We also express our sympathies with those who were wounded and extend our solidarity with the rest of the church-goers inside the Cathedral and the rest of the church community in the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo,” added Valles.
The CBCP head, meantime, asked Christians to join peace-loving Muslims in the advcacy against violent extremism.
“As we begin a new phase in the peace process with the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARRM), we ask our Christian brethren to join hands with all peace-loving Muslim and Indigenous People communities in the advocacy against violent extremism,” Valles said.
“May all our religions of peace guide us in our quest for a brighter future for the peoples of Mindanao,” he added.
At least 21 people were killed while 71 others were wounded as twin explosions rocked the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu on Sunday morning.
This, after two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were used to bomb the cathedral, with one exploding inside the cathedral, and another at the entrance.