Press Release
February 2, 2019

Koko Condemns Zamboanga City and Jolo bombings

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III condemned in the strongest possible terms, the January 30 Zamboanga mosque blast that claimed the lives of two people and injured four others. The victims, most of whom were Muslim religious leaders from Basilan and nearby provinces, were sleeping when the explosion happened at midnight. The Jolo Cathedral was bombed while Sunday mass was being celebrated.

"These acts of violence against places of worship are unforgiveable. Churches, mosques, temples, or other such places dedicated to religious worship must be respected and revered. They should be a safe sanctuary for the people and not a place of carnage," said Pimentel, whose resolution condemning the bombings of the Jolo Cathedral was adopted by the Senate last Monday, January 28.

"Our penal code punishes the mere interruption of religious worship or even offending religious feelings during the celebration of any religious ceremony. This is how we give importance to the right of every person to the free exercise of religion, so targeting innocent civilians in places of worship is the height of barbarism," according to Pimentel.

"For the victims of the Zamboanga mosque blast and their families, we extend our prayers and our promise to likewise pressure the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to solve this crime because there will only be justice if the perpetrators of these dastardly acts are identified, charged, and punished pursuant to law," Pimentel said.

Pimentel also calls on everyone to be vigilant. He said, "safety is everyone's concern - the people, the police, the military, and the local government units. We all have to work together. This is the only way we can effectively deter further acts of violence."

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