Malaybalay bishop condemns bombings in Bukidnon; seeks justice for victims

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/11 December) – A church official “strongly” condemned the recent spate of bus bombings near Central Mindanao University in Maramag, Bukidnon as acts of terrorism.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Malaybalay Bishop Jose A. Cabantan said “the perpetrators sow fear, violence and death among us instead of peace and love. This is contrary to the aspirations and longings which we prayed for last celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace. In this ‘year of the poor’, declared by the church, the poor remain to be the victims of senseless crimes.”

Ten people were killed and 42 others were wounded when a bomb went off inside Rural Transit of Mindanao Inc. bus number 2640 on Tuesday afternoon near CMU. Five of the dead victims were students of CMU who boarded the bus shortly before the explosion.

Last Nov. 6, four passengers were injured when an improvised explosive device exploded inside a bus also owned by RTMI. The blast occurred in Barangay Dologon, Maramag, about a kilometer away from the CMU campus.

“We express our heartfelt sympathy for the victims and their families of such crimes. In these hard and trying times, we offer our prayers for them as we also join in solidarity with them in seeking for justice to their situation,” Cabantan said.

The bishop also called on law enforcers “to exercise their duty to the best of their competencies to protect the people from these evil acts.”

He said that aside from investigating the incident, law enforcers should also find solution “to altogether stop these crimes and all the crimes that are happening in our beloved province.”

“It is not enough that we become reactive to certain issues, but we need to be more proactive; to make necessary measures to stop these crimes from ever happening again,” he stressed.

Cabantan likewise appealed to government leaders to help ensure the safety of commuters by improving intelligence network.

“This is not a time for politicking. Rather, this might be a chance for all to be united for a common cause, that is, the safety of our people and for their protection. May they find this as an opportunity to work together for the betterment of all,” he said.

“Let us remain hopeful and prayerful in this advent and Christmas season that God’s peace and love will triumph over evil in the end. Let us remain steadfast in our faith and hold on to God especially in this dark moment of our lives. Let us allow Jesus, the Prince of peace to reign in our hearts and in our society,” the statement concluded. (MindaNews)