DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 December) — The local government unit of Midsayap condemned the Christmas Eve blast outside the Sto. Nino Parish church in Midsayap, North Cotabato that injured at least 16 persons and urged its residents to “collectively fight these forms of violence with prayers and acts of love and to trust one another.”
“We believe that good shall always and will always triumph over evil,” the LGU statement read.
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to visit Midsayap Sunday afternoon.
Initial police reports said at least three persons injured by the explosion “in front of Sto. Nino Parish wherein PNP (Philippine National Police) patrol car with plate number SKA 130 was hit by unknown explosive, wounding three persons including SPO4 Johnny Caballero.”
Fr. Jay Virador, who was celebrating the mass said the bomb exploded some 30 meters from the main entrance of the jampacked Sto. Nino Church while parishioners were queuing to receive communion
He said the people panicked and scampered for safety.
As of midnight, DXCA Charm Radio in Kidapawan City, citing reports from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Midsayap listed 16 persons injured, mostly classified as having minor injuries.
Most of the injuries were apparently due to the commotion that followed the blast.
DXCA reported seven persons brought to the Pesante Hospital: Leah Butan, who was refered to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center; and those classified with “minor wound” – Jofer Asis, Ronald Celes, Roger Pedrosa, Chesser Rosete, Arnel and Jenelyn Silvano.
Seven persons were also brought to the Amado Diaz Hospital: Jessa Mae Banlawi having to undergo surgery; and those treated for “minor wounds” — SPO4 Johnny Caballero, Princess Capunday, Ejimar Loquiz, Jonel Orquiola, Kent Steven Pacquio and Little Joy Singco.
Also treated for minori injuries are Arissen Bagot at the Dela Cruz Hospital and Ronald Duga at the MDC Hospital.
The Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation’s Radyo Bida reported that the grenade was lobbed beside a police patrol car parked in front of the Church.
“As we look deeper into the details of this incident, we will make sure that those behind this will face the full (force) of (the) law. Our authorities are now in full coordination to attend to the wounded and those who need help,”
“We encourage vigilance and caution to everyone. Violence and terror do not deserve a place in our peaceful community,” the statement read. (MindaNews)