Sympathies, condemnation continue to pour in for Davao blast victims

MESSAGE of sympathies, condemnation and support to President Rodrigo Duterte in his bid to give justice to victims of the powerful explosion that rocked the crowded Roxas Night Market on September 2 continue to pour in.

The explosion, described by many as "cowardly and barbaric attack on hapless civilians," left 14 people dead and 67 injured, most of whom are still fighting for life in city hospitals.

Foreign governments have expressed indignation and condemned "this terrorist act" in the strongest terms.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent Duterte a message of support on Sunday, September 4, saying such attack "will never be allowed whatever the reason is."

"I cannot help feeling indignation to learn that a bombing incident by terrorism caused numerous casualties in Davao City where Your Excellency served as the mayor for many years...I firmly condemn it. On behalf of the government and people of Japan, I would like to pray for the deceased, and express my heartfelt sympathy to the injured and their families," Abe said.

Japan's Foreign MInister Fumio Kisihida, who recently met with Duterte in Davao City, also said his government stands with the Philippines "when Your Excellency and people of the Philippines are overcoming this difficulty in solidarity."

The United States also offered deep condolences to the families and other loved ones of the victims of the explosion.

"We understand that local authorities continue to investigate the cause of the explosion in the night market, and the United States stands ready to provide assistance to the investigation," a White House statement said.

"(US) President (Barrack Obama) will have an opportunity to offer his personal condolences to President Duterte, when the two leaders plan to meet (this week) on the sidelines of the Asean Summit in Laos," it said.

At the homefront, the Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines also condemned the incident and quickly blamed it on peace saboteurs who are "not happy with how the Duterte administration is shaping its pro-peace governance as shown in the great strides in the peace negotiations between the GRP and the National Democratic Front, and as demonstrated by Duterte's peace overtures with the MNLF and MILF."

Bayan Muna Representative Karlos Isagani Zarate called on the government to use the full force of the law to bring to the bar of justice the perpetrators of "this dastardly crime."

"We also call on the Filipino people to be vigilant, as the Davao blast incident might be used by undemocratic elements to foment more chaos and sabotage the peace initiatives of the Duterte administration and the revolutionary groups," he said.

Iloilo City Representative Jerry Trenas expressed support to President Duterte's response to mobilize the country's security forces to prevent other similar attacks and track down the perpetrators by any lawful means.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri strongly condemned the Davao bombing, which he described as "a cowardly attack by soulless outlaws targeting innocent and defenseless civilians."

"No effort should be spared to run after and snare the perpetrators of this sickening atrocity, which should not go unpunished," he said.

The senator called on Filipinos to stay highly alert but calm, saying the Filipino people should not allow "despicable threats of wanton violence to disrupt our peaceful way of life."

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, for his part, said there is no excuse for hurting and killing civilians who were simply enjoying a night out with friends and family.

"Justice must be served and the Senate will be supportive in achieving this justice. The police should be supported in solving this crime so that they can bring the perpetrators to Justice," he said.
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