COTABATO CITY”•Church leaders in the Archdiocese of Cotabato and Diocese of Kidapawan on Monday condemned the Christmas Eve bombing outside a Catholic Church in Midsayap, North Cotabato.
Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo and Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo made the statement following the bombing that left 17 people injured, including a police officer who was leading a team of security personnel outside the Senior Santo Niño Archdiocesan Shrine on Dec. 24.
Quevedo described the bombing as “a crime that cries out of heaven”.
“[The] bombing was a crime every religion of love and peace must condemn,” he said.
“As chief shepherd of the flock my heart reaches out with love and compassion to our wounded parishioners.”
Quevedo made his statement even as police officials told President Rodrigo Duterte that the bombing in Midsayap was drug-related.
Midsayap Police Chief Bernard Tayong said several witnesses had come forward to provide information on the suspects who were seen leaving the blast site shortly before the incident.
“It was drug related. We have been receiving threats from the supporters of drug syndicates operating in the borders of Maguindanao and North Cotabato,” Tayong told reporters.
In Davao City, security measures are up following the bombing in Midsayap.
Task Force Davao commander Col. Erwin Bernard Neri said the police in the city remained on full alert following the bombing.
Quevedo said he hoped the bombers would be quickly identified and brought to justice.
“I condemn this violent terroristic act against the innocent as a crime that cries out to heaven, a crime that every religion of love and peace must condemn,” he said.
“What was a sacred celebration of joy and thanksgiving ended in tragedy and sorrow.
“May the heartless perpetrators be quickly identified and brought to justice. May the victims and their families find strength and comfort in the Christ Child and in the Blessed Virgin Mary.” With F. Pearl A. Gajunera