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Marcos condemns MSU bombing, vows justice for victims

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday strongly condemned the attack at the Mindanao State University (MSU) which reportedly resulted in deaths to a number of civilians.

In a statement, the President stressed that “extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society.”

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists upon the Mindanao State University (MSU) and Marawi communities early this Sunday morning,” he said.

Four people were reported to have been killed and several others were hurt after a blast occurred at MSU’s Dimaporo Gymnasium in Marawi City on Sunday morning, according to the Philippine Army 1st Infantry Division.

Fifty others were also injured in the blast.

Forty-six victims were brought to the APMC emergency room, with four confirmed dead and six set to undergo operation, chief Dra. Pinky Rakiin said, according to the 1ID public affairs officer.

The blast occurred at 7:30 a.m. as a Mass was being held at the gym attended by students and teachers, according to a report by GMA Integrated News stringer Ferdinandh Cabrera on Super Radyo dzBB.

Marcos said he ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure the protection and safety of civilians, and the security of affected and vulnerable communities.

Additional security personnel are also being deployed.

He said his office is also in close coordination with the regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the concerned local government units.

Marcos extended condolences to the victims, their loved ones, and the communities that were affected by the explosion.

He also urged the public to remain calm and keep the victims and affected individuals in their prayers.

“As reports come in throughout the day, I enjoin all of us to remain calm, circumspect, and conscientious in our collective efforts to ensure that the horrific events of this morning are not further compounded by inaccurate, unvetted, and unofficial information,” the President said.

“Rest assured we will bring the perpetrators of this ruthless act to justice,” he added.

Bangsamoro Police Regional Office regional director Police Brigadier General Allan Nobleza said that they are looking at the possible connection of the killing of the 11 members of the Dawlah Islamiyah with the bombing incident.

“That is one of the angles that we are investigating right now kasi isa rin ‘yan sa pinakamalapit na pwedeng anggulo sa mga nangyaring ito [that is the nearest possible angle in what is happening], ‘yung nangyari sa Maguindanao del Sur wherein eleven members of the Dawlah Islamiyah Philippines were killed last December 1,” he said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview.

Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal "Bombit" Alonto Adiong Jr. on Sunday condemned the incident and vowed to make sure justice will be served.

The League of Provinces of the Philippines, while also condemning the bombing, also called on the people of Marawi City to restrain themselves from possible revenge.

MSU also condemned the incident and expressed condolences to the victims and their families.

The Commission on Higher Education said it was saddened and appalled by the horrific bombing. The CHED would work with the MSU President and officials in providing the necessary counseling and support for the affected individuals, particularly the university staff and students. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News