Home News Basilan bishop condemns bomb attacks, appeals for promotion of peace, development

Basilan bishop condemns bomb attacks, appeals for promotion of peace, development

"The explosion … is unwarranted by every person who desires but peace and well-being," said Bishop Leo Dalmao

The Catholic bishop of the Prelature of Basilan in the southern Philippines condemned the twin explosions that rocked the city of Isabela on Monday, June 30.

“I condemn the incident and asked each one to continue on supporting all efforts to live in a peaceful environment and work together to sustain peace,” said Bishop Leo Dalmao in a statement on Wednesday.

A bomb went off in the garage of a bus company in Isabela City about 6:15 p.m. on Monday, 30 minutes after another explosion was reported outside an eatery in the provincial capital.

The military, however, said the first explosion was not caused by a bomb, “but was a matter of faulty writing.”

In a social media post, Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman of Isabela appealed to the public “to help sustain the gains of peace and let everyone know that no harassment can stop us from rising.”

She said the city and the province, which was once known as a hotbed of terrorism, “have been peaceful for a long time.”

“Our economy has been continuously progressing and our lives have become better,” said Turabin-Hataman.

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“I echo the same message of peace to all Basileños,” read Bishop Dalmao’s statement, adding that the incident caused fear among residents “after relatively many years of living and enjoying peace.”

“The explosion … is unwarranted by every person who desires but peace and well-being,” he said.

Bishop Dalmao said Basilan “is now obviously moving forward on its development economically, socially, and politically.”

“The peaceful atmosphere has encouraged businesses to grow and people to live in harmony with each one regardless of faith and culture,” he said.

He called on the people of the province “to take active role in the promotion of peace, development, and human fraternity.”

“Engaging, otherwise to what is unpeaceful can again revive what Basilan has been in the previous years,” warned the prelate.

He also urged “all those who are responsible for sowing unpeaceful actions to stop and instead join the government, civil, and religious leaders in pursuing peace and development for all people of good will.”

On Wednesday, the Philippine National Police announced that it has placed all its forces under the highest security alert status following four incidents of bomb attacks in Mindanao.

At least one person was injured in two separate bus bombings in Tacurong City and Koronadal City, also in Mindanao, last week.

Security measures in transport terminals and other places of convergence are expected to be tightened in the national capital Manila.

“We are asking for understanding from the public, especially those riding passenger buses and the mass transport system because there will be surprise inspections from time to time,” said Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr., officer-in-charge of the National Police.

Danao, however, said they have not yet received any threat of spillover of attacks in Metro Manila, but police commanders were already tasked to beef up security measures.

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