Calls mount for police to solve CDO blast; P2-M reward up

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews/02 August)- Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma called for caution and sobriety Friday as calls intensified for the local police to solve the July 26 Limketkai bombing that killed eight persons and wounded 48 others.

This developed as Mayor Oscar Moreno offered a P2 million reward for any information that would lead to the arrest of the lone bomber who planted the deadly bomb at Kyla’s Bistro at the Limketkai Rosario Arcade.

Ledesma made his appeal during the Mass for Peace attended by residents at the blast site on Friday, exactly a week after the explosion ripped through the row of upscale restaurants here.

Among those killed was Misamis Oriental provincial board member Roldan Lagbas and two doctors from Manila who attended the national midyear convention of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians.

“I caution everyone not to rush judgment against any group now that our city is confronted with terrorism,” Ledesma said.

“We must instead forge ties of solidarity with the tri-people that live in Mindanao,” the prelate said.

Moreno also reiterated the appeal of Ledesma, cautioning the police not to resort to fall guys or wrongly accuse any ethnic groups.

“This reward money is only for the right suspect who planted the bomb. Please avoid wrongly accusing anyone,” Moreno said.

Residents banded together and organized the “Walk for Peace,” marching from the Limketkai Rosario Arcade to the Divisoria Freedom Kiosk in Cagayan de Oro also on Friday.

They were joined by Moreno and contingents from the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police.

Carrying placards that say “We want justice,” the residents–composed mostly of doctors, medical representatives, teachers and students– urged the police to arrest the lone suspect and bring him to justice.

“We want to know the motive of the bombing so we can move on,” said Dr. Tricia Marie Obrero, president of the Philippine College of Physicians in Misamis Oriental (PCPM).

In a statement, the PCPM said: “Let us work with everyone in the city in the efforts of rebuilding and moving forward to a better Cagayan de Oro. This is the only way we can go beyond our anger, sadness, hurt and shame of what had happened last July 26.”

But the healing for the survivors will be longer because many of those who survived the blast are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to Stella Ferrariz, a psychologist from the Cagayan de Oro Social Welfare and Development Office.

Ferrariz said three survivors—all medical representatives—have already sought help from the Capitol University Medical Center last Sunday despite surviving the blast without injuries.

She declined to give the names of the three medical representatives who have sought medical help for PTSD.

“They have difficulty sleeping and [are feeling] nervous. Because they are medical representatives, they knew they are suffering from post stress disorder and sought medical help,” she said.

Ferrariz said the three were given medical attention until Wednesday when they have to leave for Manila to attend the burial of one of their colleagues.

She said they are hoping the three will come back to continue their psychological treatment.

In light of this development, Ferrariz said the Philippine Mental Health Association has offered its expertise for every survivor who thinks they are suffering from post stress disorder because of the incident. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)