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A grenade thrown into the midst of a concert-crowd on May 1 in Cotabato City left at least seven people dead and more than a hundred others wounded.  The following statement on the incident was released by Cotabato Archbishop Ordlando B. Quevedo, OMI, on May2

May Day Bombing--A Statement
from the Archbishop

May 1, Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Labor Day.  A fiesta day turned into a day of tragedy, a day of infamy.  The throwing of a grenade at a large crowd of people, Muslims and Christians, gathered for fiesta activities within the grounds of the church of the Parish of St. Joseph the Worker, Notre Dame Village, Cotabato City has caused untold suffering for the families of four innocent ones who have died and the families of the many others who have been wounded.  How the level of crime has gone down so low in our society!  Even the sacredness of the day and the sacredness of the place have been treated with disdain.

It is well known that churches, mosques, and temples are sacred.  They are places of refuge rather than of hatred and destruction.  Even now people who seek safety go to the churches and their grounds.  Even if they belong to another faith they feel safe, such as what is now happening in the Catholic Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Therefore, I condemn in the strongest words possible the unconscionable crime against the lives of innocent people, Muslims and Christians, gathered at individuals is already a most terrible crime, a dastardly act of the basest kind.  The attack against them on Church premises makes the crime even more condemnable.  As of now we still do not know if terrorists or just some individuals who felt aggrieved have perpetrated this crime.  Still, it is a crime of such great proportion that I respectfully request all religious leaders to condemn it.

I strongly appeal to our local authorities quickly and thorougly to investigate this horrible crime, to discover its causes, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.  This crime must not be added to the already long list of unsolved crimes in the City.  It must be solved.  We ow this to the families, who are suffering, to our people to help the authorities with information on this infamy.

I thank our medical people for their quick response to help the dying and the wounded.  I appeal to them, as well as to our medical institutions in the City, to continue providing the necessary care and medicines for the wounded.

Finally, I request all our people, belonging to different faiths, to join me in praying to the Almighty and Compassionate God that His goodness and love may strengthen us and help us break this chain of criminality once and for all, so that God's reign of Justice, peace and love may prevail


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