We, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), as followers of Jesus the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), decry in the strongest terms the brutal and heartless bombing of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu yesterday morning January 27, 2019, which sadly killed at least twenty persons and left dozens injured.
We at PCEC offer our most fervent prayers and deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims of this senseless act of violence. PCEC stands in solidarity with them in seeking justice and advocating for the responsible persons to be held accountable through all available legal measures.
In the light of the substantive gains of the Peace Process and the recent January 21 plebiscite, the bombing is clearly an attempt by lawless persons to subvert the majority’s will and the sincere desire of the Bangsamoro people for genuine peace, harmony, security and development in Mindanao. PCEC firmly believes this ruthless action does not in any way represent any religion or religious community to which the perpetrators may claim to belong.
It is thus toward making the true and noble intentions of the Bangsamoro people a reality that PCEC in this crucial time is issuing the following calls:
We respectfully call on our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as a “son of Mindanao” and our nation’s foremost leader, to defend to the utmost peace and order in Mindanao and our country through the enforcement of the law, and by bringing to justice those responsible for this reprehensible crime.
We call on all leaders of Muslim, Lumad (indigenous people) and Christian communities in Mindanao and in our country to work together in assuaging fears and prejudices that could arise in their communities from this act done by terrorists, whose ways do not reflect the beliefs and aspirations of the Bangsamoro people.
We call on all our Evangelical constituents to pray fervently and implore the Lord’s loving kindness so that genuine peace, justice and harmony will soon befall upon our beloved land.
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” Isa. 32:17 (KJV)
For the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches:
Bishop Noel A. Pantoja
Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC)
Philippine Relief and Development Services (PHILRADS)
January 28, 2019