Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, in a manifestation speech at the Senate on Monday, December 4, vehemently condemned the recent terrorist attack at the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, which occurred during a mass on December 3.
Go stressed the importance of unity in the face of terrorism, warning against allowing such acts to fuel sectarian hatred and division among Filipinos.
“We know that the function of terrorism is to terrorize people. If we allow ourselves to be terrorized, terrorists win. As such, we must remain united and should not allow this crime to trigger sectarian hatred and further animosity among Filipino people,” said Go.
He recalled the resilience of Marawi’s citizens in recovering from the 2017 siege, despite ongoing challenges, including insufficient compensation and reconstruction efforts.
“Our brothers and sisters in Marawi have already emerged from the dark ashes of the Marawi Siege,” said Go.
Along with his fellow senators, Go, also vice chairperson of both the Senate Committees on National Defense and Public Order, urged law enforcement agencies to take decisive action against those responsible, calling for them to be punished to the full extent of the law.
“Moreover, acts of terrorism on educational institutions like MSU must be condemned. Ensuring the safety of students in schools from terrorist threats is a paramount priority for fostering a secure learning environment,” he said.
Go expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims: “Taus-puso akong nakikiramay sa mga pamilya ng mga namatayan at nasaktan sa pag-atakeng ito.”
“Masakit para sa sinumang magulang, kapatid, o anak, ang mawalan ng mahal sa buhay, lalo na kung dulot ng karahasan,” he added.
Concluding his speech, the senator underscored the community’s desire for peace: “Mas marami pong mga kababayan natin na gustong mamuhay nang tahimik at walang karahasan. Magtulungan po tayo.”
Islamic State militants claimed responsibility in the explosion at MSU’s Dimaporo Gym. This tragic event, coinciding with the First Sunday of Advent—a day of significant importance to Catholics—resulted in at least four fatalities with approximately 45 to 50 people injured.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has identified a “person of interest” named Khadafi Mimbesa, believed to be a bomb expert and sub-leader of the Dawlah Islamiyah Maute Group. He allegedly used an improvised explosive device in the attack.