Don’t let Jolo bombing spoil peace process— archbishop

Don’t let Jolo bombing spoil peace process—  archbishop

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma (right) leads Archbishop Romulo Valles and Bishop Pablo David in prayer before a press conference in Manila Jan. 28. ROY LAGARDE

By CBCP News

January 28, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The search for peace in Mindanao should not be derailed by the deadly bombing of a Catholic cathedral in Sulu province, a church official said Monday.

Jesuit Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro said the peace process must continue to pursue the end of decades of rebellion in the country’s restive south.

“We hope that the incident will not sidetrack us to lasting peace,” Ledesma said in a press conference after the bishops’ plenary assembly in Manila.

Two explosions rocked the Jolo cathedral on Sunday that claimed 20 lives and wounded more than a hundred others.

The attack came despite a martial law in effect since 2017 after Islamic State militants seized Marawi, considered the Muslim capital of the largely Catholic Philippines.

The incident also came a week after Muslims voted for the creation of the new autonomous region in Mindanao.

Sulu, on the other hand, voted against the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Amid condemnation of the attack, church officials called for sobriety and by “conquering evil with good”.

“As believers we must go back to our faith on how to respond to evil deed,” said Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Philippine bishops’ conference.