Mindanao cardinal deplores Cotabato chapel grenade attack

May 21, 2024 - 5:22 PM
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The grenade attack at the Sto. Niño Chapel in Barangay Rosary Heights 3 in Cotabato City on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, left two worshipers wounded. (Photo from DXOL-FM VIA NDBC News via CBCP News)

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, the archbishop emeritus of Cotabato, denounced the grenade attack at a village chapel in the southern Philippine city of Cotabato on Pentecost Sunday, May 19.

The blast hurt two churchgoers attending a Bible service at the Sto. Niño Chapel in the city’s Barangay Rosary Heights 3.

Initial reports revealed two men riding a motorcycle were behind the attack.

Quevedo said the “dastardly bombing” was a “horrendous sacrilegious act that cries out to heaven.”

“The crime is doubly condemnable when committed against neighbors gathered to worship God in a sacred place,” he said.

The cardinal, who is also a member of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s Council of Leaders representing the Christian Settler Communities, called on authorities to make sure to bring justice to the crime victims.

“I call upon our security, military, and investigative forces to ferret out the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” he added.

The Philippine government also deplored the attack, calling it a “direct attack on the Filipino people’s commitment to religious freedom and peaceful co-existence and blatant disregard for human life”.

Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr said the attack would not deter the government’s pursuit of lasting peace in the region.

“Let us all work together to prevent such tragedies from happening again, and to help foster a more peaceful, inclusive and harmonious environment that respects the diverse faiths within our communities,” Galvez said.