JOLO, Sulu – Philippines
The death toll in the Jolo Cathedral bombings has reached 27 dead and 77 have been injured. Of the fatalities, seven were soldiers and 20 civilians who were inside the Church and those outside and across the street during the secondary explosion.
The first blast occurred inside Our Lady of Mt. Carmel cathedral while a mass was going on at 8:28 a.m. The second bomb exploded at the carpark about 8:44 a.m. when the police and bomb experts were investigating the incident and responders rushing victims to hospitals. The secondary blast originated from a Honda XRM parked along with other vehicles at the Church’s car park area. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
As former religious leaders of Jolo we totally condemn the criminal bombing of the Jolo Cathedral. It is the most heinous desecration of a sacred place, on a sacred day, and at a sacred moment of worship. It is truly a satanic act that all sacred religions must condemn. This is the action of evil people with utter disregard for the sacredness of human life and of human dignity. We entrust the innocent victims to the Lord’s compassion and pray for their grieving families. We strongly appeal to our security and military forces to flush out the perpetrators of this barbaric crime and bring them to justice. May the One God of all preserve us frm evil and lead us to the way of peace.
Archbishop-Elect Angelito R. Lampon, OMI, Bishop Emeritus of Jolo; Orlando B. Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, Former Parish Priest of Jolo