LEADERS and members of the House of Representatives were united in condemning the explosion in Davao City.
Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano and Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, called the bombing an act of terrorism and said those behind it should be held liable to the government and the families of the victims.
“I strongly condemn this latest act of terrorism, claimed to have been perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group, in Davao City. There is no justification for the killing and harming of unarmed civilians -- children, women and men -- regardless of one’s cause or ideology. I join our nation in calling for justice and offering prayers and support to our kababayans in Davao, especially those who have lost their loved ones,” Cayetano said.
According to Nograles, this barbaric act will not stop President Rodrigo Duterte from pursuing lawless elements, especially those involved in illegal drugs and terrorism.
“Like many Davaoenos, I am still in deep shock as it is beyond belief that civilians have to be sacrificed just to weaken our government’s resolve to finally give our countrymen a life of peace and progress. Our enemies think that through these acts of terrorism, they can also terrorize our commitment to bring them down but they are gravely mistaken,” Nograles said.
“We condemn in the strongest sense this terroristic attack against innocent civilians. We pray for the victims of the blast and their families, and assure them of government’s support. We also pray for those responsible for this abhorrent act, that you may realize humankind will not succumb to hatred. If you pursue your wicked agenda at the cost of innocent lives, it will only strengthen the people’s resolve to reject it,” he added.
Both Cayetano and Nograles expressed full support for the decision of Duterte to place the entire country in a state of lawlessness to ensure that no future attacks would take place in other parts of the country.
Chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms Rep. Sherwin Tugna said he is supporting the decision and actions of President Duterte as well as the law enforcement agencies in addressing the problem.
“I express my strongest condemnation over the recent bombing in Davao City that claimed the lives of innocent people. I am one with the entire nation in praying for the families of the victims of the explosion. I place my trust in the President and our law enforcers that justice will be served swiftly against those who have claimed responsibility for this attack on the Filipino people,” Tugna said.
“In light of this tragedy, I call on our countrymen to remain calm and refrain from any speculations that would only exacerbate the situation. We should never allow the shroud of terror to engulf the country and cause undue panic amongst our people. Let us all be vigilant. Let this tragedy bring out the best in the spirit of the Filipino people in our collective desire and efforts for a just and lasting peace,” he added.
Another Davaoeño solon, PBA party-list Rep. Jericho Jona Nograles expressed concern for the innocent victims of the bombing.
Rep. Jericho challenged these “cowards to fight face-to-face, mano-a-mano” against policemen and military instead of turning to helpless civilians.
“But if these terrorists think that this attack against Davao will scare us or will diminish our commitment to support President Duterte’s war against drugs and terrorism, they are gravely mistaken. Our support for the President will not be weakened but instead, it will be strengthened,” he added.
From the Visayas, the House Eastern Visayan bloc likewise extended their deepest sympathies to the bereaved families of the casualties of the horrific explosion on Friday at the night market.
“We share agony of the Filipino nation in the wake of this tragedy. We condemn in strongest terms this evil act and those responsible for their cowardly attack against innocent civilians,” the Visayan solons said.