Church grieves Davao deadly blast

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A SWAT team secures a night market in Davao City where the explosion occurred on Friday. (Photo by Fr. Jboy Gonzales, SJ)

MANILA, Sept. 3, 2016— The Catholic Church offered prayers for the victims of an explosion that rocked a night market in Davao City and condemning the incident that killed at least 14 people.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, expressed disapproval of the attack and lamented that “when fellowmen die, a part of our humanity dies too.”

He said the CBCP is “prayerful communion” with Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and the people in Mindanao’s largest city.

“We grieve too over the death of innocent brothers and sisters due to the bombing past midnight,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas said.

“We pray for peace for the dead victims. We pray for healing for the wounded. We pray for strength for the bereaved families,” he said.

Among the fatalities include a pregnant woman and a child.

President Rodrigo Duterte said the explosion in his hometown Friday night was an act of terrorism and declared “state of lawless violence” across the country to counter terrorism and other criminalities.

Local authorities have also recovered a suspected shrapnel at the blast site near the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Davao University which immediately issued a suspension of classes for Saturday.

The notorious Abu Sayyaf terror group has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack that wounded 60 others.

The CBCP head, however, warned against hatred and vengeance and called on the faithful to carry out acts of peace.

“We pray for the restoration of brotherhood and harmony for Davao and for the nation,” said Archbishop Villegas. “Let not vengeance be our response but peace!” (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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