The ambassadors of the United States and European Union expressed sadness over the bombing incident at the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City on Sunday which claimed the lives of at least four people.
"My heart goes out to those affected by the Mindanao State University bombing, especially the victims and their loved ones. I extend deepest condolences on the part of the U.S. government. We condemn this act of violence and support efforts to hold the perpetrators accountable," US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
"It’s deeply disheartening to learn of today’s explosion at Mindanao State University in Marawi. Violence has no place in schools," EU Ambassador the Philippines Luc Véron said in a post on X.
"In this difficult time, my thoughts are filled with concern for those students who have suffered injuries, and my sympathy extends to the families who have lost their loved ones," he added.
Four people were killed while several others were hurt after a blast occurred at the Dimaporo Gymnasium at MSU at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
The blast occurred as a Mass was being held at the gym attended by students and teachers.
Forty-six victims were brought to Marawi City’s Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) emergency room, with four confirmed dead and six set to undergo operation, hospital chief Dra. Pinky Rakiin said, according to the Philippine Army 1st Infantry Division (1ID) public affairs officer.
Investigation is ongoing regarding the incident.
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. condemned the attack and vowed justice for the victims.
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.
He also urged the public to remain calm and keep the victims and affected individuals in their prayers.
The MSU, meanwhile, said its "community is deeply saddened and appalled by the act of violence that occurred during a religious gathering at the university gymnasium this morning."
MSU said its immediate priority is to make sure its constituents, particularly the Christian community, are safe.
MSU has suspended classes "until further notice."
The university also said it is working closely with authorities, both local government units and law enforcement authorities, in the investigation to help bring the perpetrators to justice. —KG, GMA Integrated News