Robredo condemns Davao explosion: 'Senseless and criminal act'
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday, September 3, condemned the explosion in a Davao City night market that killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60 others.
"We condemn this senseless and criminal act. In this difficult time, we must not allow violence and fear to divide our nation. Rather, let us all come together in fighting against the scourge of terrorism," Robredo said in a statement.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives or were injured in last night’s attack in Davao," Robredo said.
"We call on calm and collective action in bringing about justice, peace, and order to our country," the Vice President added.
The explosion happened on Friday evening, September 2, at the Roxas Night Market in Davao City.
This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte, who was longtime mayor of Davao City, to declare a "state of lawlessness" in the country. There was some confusion on the scope of the order after Special Assistant to the President Bong Go clarified that it's limited to Mindanao, then later reverted to a nationwide declaration.
State of lawlessness 'equally worrisome'
Aside from Robredo, lawmakers also issued statements condemning the Davao City explosion.
Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said he considers the blast as one of the Abu Sayyaf’s "diversionary tactics…when major operations are conducted against them."
The Abu Sayyaf has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Alejano, however, said Duterte’s declaration of a state of lawlessness "is equally worrisome considering the alleged violations of human rights already happening in the conduct of anti-drug operations."
Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) joined others in condemning the attack.
"We are no strangers to such incidents, and we know the fear and sorrow that come with these tragedies….We are one with Davao City in this time of grief. In the fight for peace, we will not falter," Hataman said.
He described the Abu Sayyaf, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, as "the biggest traitor or Islam."
"Acts of terror have no place in a country that tirelessly hopes for peace and stability. Time and again, this group has proven to be the biggest traitor of Islam, their activities are purely betrayal of the values and principles we hold dear as a peace-loving people," he said.
"Islam does not condone the spilling of blood. The murder of innocent people has no place in Islam. Acts of terrorism are not and will never be the way toward unity and progress," the ARMM governor added. – Paterno Esmaquel II/Rappler.com