RDC 12 issues resolution calling justice for Marawi bombing victims

RDC 12 issues resolution calling justice for Marawi bombing victims
The inter-agency Regional Development Council 12, led by Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño Mendoza, supports the anti-terror campaign in central Mindanao of the police and the military.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY — The Regional Development Council 12 on Wednesday passed a strongly-worded resolution condemning the deadly bombing of a mass on Sunday by Catholics in the campus of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City.

Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño Mendoza, presiding chairperson the RDC 12, and members of the council also called for speedy justice for the victims of the bombing that killed four Catholic worshipers and hurt more than 30 others.

“It is so disheartening. We here in Region 12 want that case solved soon,” Mendoza said.

Members of the RDC, among them representatives of the agriculture and business sectors, told reporters they appreciate the immediate tightening by the Police Regional Office-12 and the Army’s 6th Infantry Division of security in the region after the bombing of the Dimaporo gymnasium in the MSU campus that marred the Sunday mass inside the facility attended by some 70 Catholics.

There are few remaining members of the outlawed allies Dawlah Islamiya, the Al-Khobar and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in secluded towns in Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces in Region 12 and in nearby Maguindanao del Sur and Maguindanao del Norte, both in the Bangsamoro region.

All three groups are operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and have a reputation for fomenting hatred for non-Muslims and for bombing passenger vehicles and business establishments if owners refuse to pay “protection money” on a monthly basis.

Army Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of 6th ID, said their anti-terror security efforts are being carried out with the help of local executives in provinces in Region 12 and in the Bangsamoro region.

“Among those actively helping us are many former members of local terrorist groups who have surrendered and already reintegrated into the local communities," Rillera said.

More than 400 members of the Dawlah Islamiya, the Al-Khobar and the BIFF from across central Mindanao had returned to the fold of law in batches since 2020 through the intercession of local officials and units of the 6th ID in the region.

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