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Caritas Philippines, the humanitarian, development, and advocacy arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, condemns in strongest terms the bombing inside Dimaporo Gymnasium inside the Mindanao State University, where a Catholic mass was being held.
“I am appalled by the blatant act of terror that the perpetrators were able to commit especially at this time when we are celebrating the Mindanao Week of Peace!” Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, president of Caritas Philippines, said in a statement this morning.

Bishop Bagaforo appeals to government authorities to ensure the security and safety of Christian gatherings, especially since the Christmas season has started, and at the same time, “Caritas Philippines calls for a thorough and expeditious investigation into this heinous act. The perpetrators must be swiftly identified, apprehended, and brought to justice to ensure that such atrocities do not go unpunished.

“Caritas Philippines extends its condolences to the victims and families affected by this senseless act. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire community of Mindanao State University during this difficult time. Furthermore, Caritas Philippines urges all stakeholders, including the government, religious leaders, and the community, as a whole, to collaborate in fostering an environment of peace despite the incident. Concerted efforts must be made to prevent the recurrence of such violent incidents and to safeguard the fundamental right to worship without fear of anyone.”

According to recent reports, at least three individuals were killed and 40 were injured during the bombing, The authorities are still doing an ongoing investigation.