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You are here: Home News Blog Cotabato News Blog CITY MAYOR PLEAS FOR UNITY, SOBRIETY


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Amidst the highly-charged emotions generated by the July 5 morning explosion at a lechon store fronting the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema called on his Muslim and Christian constituents to remain united and calm even as he pledged to put into motion the entire local government bureaucracy for the arrest of those responsible for the bombing.

On July 7’s executive meeting of the Cotabato City Peace and Order Council, Sema said he has high hopes for the eventual identification of the alleged suspect after military and police officials told the Council’s members that the man who allegedly planted the bomb was videotaped by a security camera of the Central Bank office here. “The video clips offer a very good lead to identity the suspected bomber,” Sema said.

Cartographic sketches of the suspect have already been circulated in many parts of the city.

Two hours after the bomb exploded at exactly 8:44 am on Sunday, Sema aired over radio station DXMS his strong condemnation and anger over what he called a “dastardly act by people who have sinister plan.” He urged Muslims and Christians of Cotabato City to cooperate with one another and avoid falling into speculations that can cause ethnic strife.

The bomb exploded while a mass was being celebrated by Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo. An improvised explosive device, the bomb was planted outside a lechon store just across the biggest Catholic church here.

A day after the blast, Sema ordered the creation of Task Force 705 to focus on the immediate resolution of the incident, prosecute all those who appear responsible, provide assistance to the victims and recommend further security measures to avoid occurrence of the same incident.

As over-all chairman, Sema designated as his vice-chairmen for security City PNP Director SSupt. Willie Dangane and Task Force Tugis Commander Lt.Col. Gilbert Santiago while City Social Welfare Coordinator Ofelia Ibrahim will act as vice-chairman for victims assistance.   

Other members of the Task Force are City Administrator Esmael Daulog, Councilor Anwar Malang, ABC President Sukarno Sema, City Legal Officer Naguib Sinarimbo and Acting City Health Officer Dr. Zul Qarnayn Abas.

Sema already asked the Sangguniang Panlungsod to allocate P830,000 out of the calamity fund. Financial assistance amounting to P40,000 each will be given to the families of those who died from the blast, numbering now to 5. Medicines and other related expenses for the other 51 victims will also be apportioned from the requested fund.

Right after the unfortunate event, Sema dispatched the city social and health workers to attend to the needs of the victims. They were assigned at the help desk created by the ICC parish and in debriefing sessions for Notre Dame of Cotabato students who sponsored the Sunday mass.



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