TWO Mindanao lawmakers on Tuesday condemned in the strongest possible terms the deadly Monday’s twin bombings in Jolo, Sulu and asked the government to immediately bring the perpetrators to justice.
Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman and Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan also expressed their deepest grief on the incidents that initially killed 11 people and wounded 24 others.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the brazen act of violence and terrorism perpetrated against the people of Jolo in Sulu province yesterday (Monday) by people who only know how to sow fear in order to hide their cowardice. Masakit sa puso ang makita ang mga larawan ng mga biktima sa dalawang pagsabog sa Jolo kahapon na nasa social media na at online. At mas lalong masakit para sa mga kamag-anak at kaibigan ng mga biktima ang sinapit ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay, na naroon lamang sa maling lugar at oras dahil kailangan nilang kumita at maghanapbuhay,” said Hataman.
Eerily similar to the last year’s incident, Sangcopan called for sobriety in the midst of the chaos and implores authorities to immediately conduct a thorough investigation that has also left 17 other civilians wounded.
Sangcopan also asked the local government to prioritize the safety and security of the communities for any further attacks.
“Napakasakit po sa puso na sa gitna ang pandemyang likha ng COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-19) ay mayroong mga taong nagnanais pang makapaghasik ng kalagiman na kumikitil sa buhay ng mga inosenteng sibilyan at kasundaluhan,” Sangcopan said.
She also called on fellow Tausug to stay safe by refraining from going out of their homes unless necessary. “We, Tausugs, are again confronted with a threat more fatal than
COVID-19. I am appealing to all of you to please stay at home, be cautious and vigilant of your surroundings. Pray for the souls of the victims and their families instead,” said Sangcopan.
The first blast incurred inside a food plaza along Barangay Walled City in Jolo around lunchtime followed by the second explosion near Mount Carmel Cathedral, the same Roman Catholic church which was bombed in January 2019 that has killed 20 people and 102 other injured.
“There are also military and police personnel among the casualties. Nais po naming iparating ang aming pagsaludo sa inyong mga sakripisyo, na kahit alam ninyo ang panganib na nakaamba sa Sulu ay pinili nyo pa ding madestino dito upang tugisin ang mga terorista at tumulong sa panunumbalik ng kapayapaan at normal na buhay para sa ating mga kababayan doon. We express our deepest condolences and offer our sincerest sympathies to those left behind by the blast victims. We grieve with you as you cope with another unnecessary loss from an act of terrorism,” Hataman stressed.
“Now more than ever, we condemn this act of terrorism. Walang lugar ang terorismo sa ating mapayapang lipunan, at lalong walang lugar ang mga terorista sa ating mga pamayanan at bayan. We will not allow a few to curtail our road to peace. We will not allow these cowards to achieve their misguided objectives, and we will not bow down to fear.
I urge our law enforcement authorities to investigate this fully and bring the perpetrators to justice. As this puts to test the recently enacted Anti-Terrorism Law, we hope to see it work without the abuses and misuses we warned about concerning indiscriminate arrests and violations of human rights,” Hataman explained.
“Muli, nakikiramay kami sa mga naulila ng mga biktima ng pagsabog sa Jolo, at nawa ay mahuli agad ang mga responsable sa terorismong ito,” Hataman added.