By John Samuel Lazaro, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan national coordinator
We are warning against increased military presence in the city of Marawi after the deadly explosion that took place in a gym at the Mindanao State University (MSU).
The explosion took place during a Catholic mass celebration at the Dimaporo Gym in MSU, and as of Sunday night, Dec. 3, 2023, four people were confirmed dead, and another 45 were wounded.
We offer commiserations to the families of the dead and the injured.
We commiserate with the innocent who were killed and hurt, by this act of violence for whatever malicious and covert political agenda.
Classes have been suspended at MSU until further notice.
The group warned, however, that the security sector could “overreact” to the situation by increasing military presence in the city.
In times of suffering such as these, the last thing we need is for thousands of soldiers to be littered all over the city, potentially causing more damage than what has already been done.
Any deployment of large-scale military force and disturbance of regular civilian life plays precisely into the hands of those who orchestrate bombings of civilians.
Lest we forget that this is the same city that suffered for over two years under martial law, which was lifted just four years ago.
(Martial law was imposed in Marawi from May 2017 to December 2019, which resulted in the economic and physical dislocation of thousands of families, among other gross violations of human rights.)
We challenge President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to substantiate his claims that the explosion in Marawi was orchestrated by “foreign terrorists” despite the absence of a formal investigation by police authorities.
Marcos Jr. had made the claim on his official X (formerly Twitter) account in the aftermath of the incident.
Implying the presence of armed foreigners in a country is a dangerous claim to make without evidence shown to the public.