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CBCP condemns ‘act of terrorism’ in Jolo

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) condemned the deadly twin bombings that happened on Sunday while a mass was ongoing at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu.

We condemn this act of terrorism that has taken place only a few days after the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles said in a statement.

said the Catholic bishops received the “sad news” through Jolo Apostolic Administrator Fr. Romeo S. Saniel while the CBCP was holding its 118th Plenary Assembly in Manila on Sunday.

The Davao archbishop expressed sympathies to the families of the victims, including at least 20 people who perished in the twin explosions that took place at a minute interval inside and at the entrance of the Jolo cathedral.

“We condole with the families of the several soldiers and civilians who were killed by the explosions,” Valles said.

“We also express our sympathies with those who were wounded and extend our solidarity with the rest of the churchgoers inside the Cathedral and the rest of the church community in the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo,” he added.

Meanwhile, Valles urged Christians to join the people of Mindanao in prayer for peace to reign in the region.

“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,” the Catholic prelate said.

“May all our religions of peace guide us in our quest for a brighter future for the peoples of Mindanao,” he added.

Ferdinand Patinio /PNA