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Terrorizing Cotabato, Holding Society Hostage

July 5, 2009

.CotabatoCityCathedral blast montage

It’s the worst terror bombing in the important city of Cotabato in months.

Is it an important political center, being the capital of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, and is generally considered a showpiece of peaceful and productive coexistences of Muslims and Christians, rich in cultural history and cradle of the rich heritage of Filipino Mohammedans.

That the bombers specifically targeted the regal Immaculate Conception Cathedral as influential Archbishop Orlando Quevedo was celebrating mass appears to send a message to both the government of the day, and the Catholic Church.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the murderous intent of its authors is writ in the blood of the 5 confirmed dead so far and the 30 left wounded.

There has been a marked up surge of clashes between the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the military while anxiety continues further down South in Basilan and Sulu over the fate of kidnapped Italian engineer Eugenio Vagni of the International Red Cross.

PHILIPPINES-KIDNAP/

Vagni has now been held captive by the Abu Sayyaf for 5 long months and while he’s captors have allowed Eugenio to phone his family in Italy twice last month to give authorities “proof of life,”he runs the danger of becoming the forgotten hostage.

He has diabetes and no one really knows how badly his health has deteriorsted.

God forbid that is something worse befalls the Italian one of these troubled days.

All the way from the Vatican Pope Benedict condemned the incident as he said the Sunday Angelus:

While praying to God for the victims of this heinous act, I once again condemn the recourse to violence which is never a just way to resolve existing problems. When will people learn that life is sacred and only belongs to God? When will they understand that we are all brothers?

Surely today’s bombing increases the burden on the military to restore peace in the region.

Like Vagni, our society is held hostage by such unmitigated terrorism.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/07/05/09/four-dead-nearly-30-wounded-cotabato-blast

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20090703-213633/ICRC-renews-appeal-for-Vagni-release

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