MY family and I join the entire country in praying for the innocent victims of the deadly Davao City bombing and hope that the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces will catch the terrorists as soon as possible. I was also aghast to learn that some netizens have taunted President Duterte for failing to stop the bombing in what has been touted as one of the most peaceful cities in the whole world.
My answer to these sons and daughters of bitches: fu#k you. Instead of praying for the souls of the victims and their families feeling the tragedy that all of a sudden befell them, netizens are putting the blame on the government. Instead of condemning the perpetrators, they are hitting the wrong person. What kind of persons are you?
I also hope and pray that the PNP headed by General Ronald ‘Bato’ de la Rosa, with the help of the Armed Forces and all other law enforcement and intelligence agencies will really get to the bottom of the incident. Supposed to be, the PNP chief was to fly to Davao City yesterday following an official trip to Ilocos-Pangasinan and Cordillera regions where he assessed the results of the ongoing anti-drug campaign. He is expected to meet the President.
The blast will hasten his trip to the city. The PNP chief looked very sad but firm when he read a statement yesterday at Camp Crame. “While we are not discounting the possibility that some quarters may be exploiting the situation to create hysteria and fear, we’d rather take these threats with utmost prudence and due diligence,” he said.
‘Bato’ also assured the public of the readiness of the PNP in addressing any threat of this nature, and thwarting any attempt by threat groups to sow fear and anxiety among our people. “We appeal to the public to remain calm, vigilant and alert in reporting to authorities any unusual movement or activities of suspicious persons,” he said. Thus, if you see suspicious movement of persons and activities in your area, don’t hesitate to dial the emergency hotline 911.
At this moment of sorrow, I join Gen. De la Rosa and the entire police force in offering deepest sympathies to the victims of the bombing. “Even as we strongly condemn this evil act of terrorism, we express our deepest sympathy to the orphaned families of the deceased and extend our helping hand to the dozens others hurt. Government efforts are now largely prioritized on care for the wounded,” the PNP chief said.
What the PNP and the AFP need right now are information from the citizenry which could help unmask the perpetrators, information that could lead to the identities of most of the bombers who have killed dozens of people since the 90s including the infamous Rizal Day bombings in Metro Manila on December 30, 2000.
But although a security lockdown is in effect in Davao City, let me mention the statement of Gen. de la Rosa. “It must be understood that this particular incident is confined only within Davao City. Let me emphasize that this is not a crisis situation— we are too far from such point of being unable to help ourselves. Government remains in complete control of the situation, in Davao and the rest of the country. Nonetheless, we urge our people to remain vigilant yet calm in the face of this situation.”
Let’s also hear the words of our President: “We have to confront the ugly head of terrorism … We will take this as a police matter about terrorism.” The President clarified the state of lawlessness is not martial law and does not involve the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus even as it authorizes police and military searches of vehicles and people at checkpoints. “We know that this is not a fascist state I cannot control the movement of the citizens of the city and every Filipino has the right to enter and leave Davao. It is unfortunate we cannot stop and frisk anybody for just any reason. But I am declaring the entire country on alert,” he said.
There is also the statement of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the daughter of the President in the wake of the bomb attack. “I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of those who died last night. I would also like to reassure all of them, as well as the families of those who are injured that the City Government of Davao will assist in all their needs for hospitalization, burial, funeral and day to day expenses.”
“I am sorry for what happened. I would like to remind other officials to stay within the bounds of their official duties according to their position. Please leave me in peace to do my job and I’ll leave you to focus on your own work. We will not be terrorized by this heinous crime and I call on all Dabawenyos to unite and let us help each other rise from this senseless incident.”
Let me make it clear that the enemy right now is not the police and the military.
The enemy is the Abu Sayyaf which has turned into heartless bandits who kidnaps people, behead them if their families heed their ransom demand (I cried when I recently heard a grieving mother telling her son who was beheaded by the bandits: Sorry anak, wala kasi tayong pera) and worst, launch bombings that kill and maim scores of innocent Filipinos. Let’s turn our grief and sorrow into victory against these terrorists.