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Bishops condemn Manila bus blast

Attack could have been attempt to destabilize the government, they say

Bishops condemn Manila bus blast
Investigators look for clues from the bombed bus in Makati City
Joe Torres and reporters, Manila

January 26, 2011

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Catholic bishops have condemned a deadly bomb attack on a bus in Manila’s business district, warning it could have been an attempt to destabilize the government. The blast yesterday afternoon in Makati killed 5 people and wounded 12 others. “We should be vigilant. There could be people out to destabilize the present government,” said Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao. “We should also pray for those who commit evil so that they may realize its consequences,” he added. Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr. of Novaliches also said the attack might be part of a plot to destabilize the government. He called on President Benigno Aquino III to prove he can run the country and implement its laws. “The people need to believe in you now,” Bishop Bacani said. Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan said the bus bombing might be a “political message” for Aquino to address poverty, corruption and killings that are plaguing the country. Meanwhile, Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel called for swift action against those responsible for the blast and challenged the Philippine National Police to improve its intelligence gathering capability to prevent further attacks. The bishop also called for “communal action” to maintain peace and order in the country. “Communal action is the responsibility of everybody,” he said. Bishop Deogracias Iniguez of Kalookan, chairman of the public affairs committee of the Catholic bishops’ conference, agreed. “The government should act on this quickly. Let us all do what we can as soon as possible to investigate the root of this,” he said. “Let the enforcers of law and order wake up. We cannot just ignore this incident,” he added Initial police investigation revealed that the blast was caused by an “improvised explosive device.” Police said an 81-mm mortar shell with a cell phone as triggering device was used.   Related reports Christian-Muslim unity survives chapel attack Philippines ‘powerless’ in fight against terror Philippine worship places in terrorist sights PM13038.1638
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