Southerners condemn deadly Marawi City bombing

John Unson - Philstar.com
Southerners condemn deadly Marawi City bombing
The Christian worshipers injured during the bombing inside a university campus in Marawi City on Dec. 3, 2023 are now confined in different hospitals.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY — Muslim leaders and peace activists in the Bangsamoro region on Monday urged the police and military to immediately identify for prosecution the perpetrators of the deadly bombing of Christian worshipers on the campus of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City on Sunday morning.

The bomb explosion in the Dimaporo Gymnasium at the MSU campus killed four worshipers, Risa Dancel, Janine Arenas, Junerey Arbante and Jen Aromin and hurt more than 30 others.

Non-Muslim students, MSU employees and faculty members are free to use the facility for Sunday prayer rites and other religious gatherings.  

The Moro National Liberation Front said that it has tasked its leaders in Marawi City, the capital of Lanao del Sur to help the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region locate the two suspects in the bombing whom Maranao Islamic preachers identified as the violent religious extremists Arsani Membisa and Wahab Macabayao, both members of the Dawlah Islamiya.

A popular physician in the 80-seat parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Kadil Sinolinding,Jr., said that he was saddened by the bombing in the Dimaporo gymnasium inside the campus of the state-run Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City.

“It’s hurting. Four died, more than 30 worshipers were injured in the explosion. I studied a four-year course in MSU before I studied medicine proper in another state university in the Visayas,”  Sinolinding, most known as the “doctor sa parliamento ng Bangsamoro,” told reporters on Monday.

BARMM Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo, called the bombing “an act of terror” and demanded justice for all victims who were gathered for a Sunday worship rite inside the gymnasium when an improvised explosive device packed with fragments of cast iron with jagged edges went off.

“We in the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government condemn that in strongest terms. We have requested the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to identify its perpetrators for them to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of law,” Sinarimbo said.

Bangsamoro Labor and Employment Minister Muslimin Sema, who is chairman of the MNLF’s central committee, said that the bombing of Christians in the middle of a religious activity was something that they have never ever thought of perpetrating while they were still young guerillas fighting for the government’s recognition of the right of Mindanao’s Moro communities for peace and development through self-governance.

“That bomb attack was absolutely satanic. Something we in the MNLF condemn strongly as we call for a speedy closure to it via an extensive probe by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” . Sema, speaking on the MNLF's behalf, said.

Sema and Sinarimbo had both recommended to the government to raise a reward in exchange for any information that would lead to the arrest of the bombers.

A Maranao peace advocate, Norodin Alonto Lucman, said that, for him, the bombing was an act of terror possibly meant to wedge the solidarity of Muslims and Christians in Lanao del Sur province.

“We should avoid drastic and unreasonable conclusions on that incident. Let us give the police and military enough time to identify its perpetrators for them to get locked in jail,” Lucman said.

Priests in central Mindanao belonging to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) congregation had urged Muslim and Christian communities not to have their ecumenical peacebuilding activities distracted by the deadly bombing in the MSU campus.

The OMI, whose pontifical base is in Vatican City in Rome, has been engaged in programs meant to strengthen Muslim-Christian solidarity in southern provinces since the 1940s.

vuukle comment




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with