COTABATO CITY – Members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament filed on Tuesday a resolution expressing their “strongest condemnation” of the Dec. 3 bombing at a Mass inside the Mindanao State University gymnasium in Marawi City.
In a news release on Wednesday, the lawmakers said the resolution emphasized the free exercise and enjoyment of religious professions and worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed, as stated in Section 5 and Article 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
"We stand in solidarity with the community of peace, urging adherence to safety protocols set by local authorities, and together, we reaffirm our commitment to fostering a society rooted in tolerance, respect, and lasting peace,” it added.
It was principally authored by Members of Parliament (MPs) Diamila Disimban-Ramos, Ali Montaha Babao, Don Mustapha Loong, Nabila Pangandaman, Michael Midtimbang, Kadil Sinolinding Jr., and Rasol Mitmug Jr. and co-authored by Members of Parliament Ali Solaiman, Mudjib Abu, Suwaib Oranon, Kelie Antao, Tawakal Midtimbang, Basir Utto, Ramon Piang Sr., Tarhata Maglangit, Khalid Hadji Abdullah, Abdulazis Amenoden, Abdullah Gayak, Abdullah Macapaar, Faizal Karon, Said Sheikh, Amroussi Macatanong, Rasul Ismael, Abdulkarim Misuari, Randolph Parcasio, Dan Asnawie, Bassit Abas, and Denmartin Kahalan.
The Bangsamoro government also condemned this heinous act of violence.
“In this moment of grief and shock, let us come together as a community, embracing one another with compassion and solidarity. The MSU is an academic institution that has always welcomed people of different faiths and we must see to it that this tradition will endure these times of tribulations,” part of the official statement of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim.
“Ensuring the safety of students and the community remains our top priority. We are working closely with the proper authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this abhorrent act and establish measures to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future,” part of the official statement of BTA Parliament Speaker Pangalian Balindong.
The Office of MP Disimban-Ramos extended its sympathies to the families of the casualties and those affected by this tragedy.
“Islam strongly prohibits such acts of violence and emphasizes the sanctity of human life. It is particularly heart-wrenching to acknowledge that most of the victims were students, engaging in the pure act of practicing their faith. This attack on young individuals, at a place and time of spiritual reflection, only adds to the severity of this tragedy. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims, the injured, and all those affected by this tragedy,” Ramos said.
On Sunday, Ramos sent assistance such as rice and grocery items to the victims who were then being treated at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, MSU Infirmary Hospital, and MSU Dormitory.
Due to fear, "others did not go out and chose to stay in their respective dormitories while the situation was still hot."
Ramos’ office also posted on its official social media accounts the interviews with Genevive Tirsion, a second-year psychology student, and Maria Rowena Lauree, a resident of MSU Main Campus, both victims of the bombing.
“Yung iba po talaga na need is yung financial lalo sa mga kailangang operahan at ‘yung basic needs. Pero hindi lang po financial support but also psychological support kasi iba po ‘yung trauma (The other thing that really needs attention is the financial, especially for those who need surgery, and the basic needs. But it is not just financial support but also psychological support because of trauma),” Tirsion said.
Meanwhile, Lauree said she felt like the explosion came from under her seat.
“May katabi ako na humingi siya ng tulong sa akin, binuhat ko siya pero hindi ko siya kayang buhatin, estudyante siya. Kaya lumabas po ako at humingi na ako ng tulong (There was someone next to me asking for help. I lifted him, but I couldn't; he was a student. So, I went out and asked for help,” Lauree said.
Earlier, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., said the government is working closely with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the concerned local government units for their swift response in this matter.
Vice President Sara Duterte expressed condolences and called on all Filipinos, especially Mindanaoans, to be calm while the authorities conduct their investigation and “to be careful and vigilant so that we can prevent further attacks on civilians." (PNA)