We, the officials of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) under the Office of the President, hereby condemn the perpetrators of the bombing incident in the afternoon of December 31, 2018 at South Seas Mall in Cotabato City.
Unfortunately, one of our employees by the name of Jonathan T. Torribiano died because of the bombing. He was a hardworking, humble, and peace-loving staff member of Commissioner Melanio Ulama who represents the indigenous people in the BTC that drafted the Bangsamoro Organic Law (RA 11054). It is really sad that someone who worked for an office that seeks peace in the Bangsamoro would become a victim of senseless violence.
In the same vein, we grieve for the others who also died or got wounded by this evil act. Only someone who really opposes peace can perpetuate such a terroristic, immoral and cowardly action.
The Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as well as the Moro National Liberation Front and countless advocates, are very much in the forefront of establishing peace through the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). Hence, we can only view the bombing as a desperate attempt to sow fear in the people of Cotabato City whose great majority is yearning for true peace and human development.
We demand justice for the victims of this dastardly act. An investigation must be immediately conducted by the local law enforcement agencies. We also appeal to the Office of the President to direct national law enforcement agencies to assist in pinpointing immediately the real perpetrators of the bombing and bringing them to the bar of justice. We call on everyone to remain calm. Let us all pray for the victims and their families. Let us all pray that peace, truth and justice will reign in our homeland.