Friday, August 2, 2013

A Display of People's Solidarity for Peace in Cagayan de Oro

On the morning of August 2, 2013, different sectors of society expressed their solidarity against acts of terror and violence which were perpetrated by still unknown person or group who was responsible for the deadly bombing at Kyla’s Bistro in Lim Ket Kai Arcade in Cagayan de Oro on July 26, 2013. The blast claimed the lives of 8 persons and injured more than 40 others.  The large number of casualties who were mostly medical professionals and medical sales representatives who came from different parts of the Philippines to attend a medical convention in the city made headlines in television, radio and newspapers. President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the police to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and arrest the perpetrators.

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma
The activities of solidarity for peace started at 7 a.m. with a mass at the blast site at Kyla’s Bistro. It was attended by the people who would participate in the march and the rally for peace. Archbishop Antonio Ledesma  officiated the mass. He was assisted by Monsignor Elmer Abacahin and Father Antonio Moreno S. J.                                                    

After the mass was the solidarity walk for peace which was participated by different sectors such as members of the civil society, professionals, businessmen, members of the Muslim community, representatives of public market vendors, government employees and members of law enforcement agencies such as the police and the army. The participants started at Lim Ket Kai Arcade passing through streets at Cogon Public Market, J.R. Borja Street and into their final destination which was the Kiosko Sa Kagawasan in Divisoria. Mayor Oscar Moreno and his wife Arlene were among those people who participated in the march.

Mayor Oscar Moreno with wife

At the Kiosko Sa Kagawasan a rally for peace was conducted with a short program. Representatives of different sectors made their speeches. Among them was the representative of the Muslim community and other sectors. Police Superintendent Michael John Deloso gave an update of the investigation regarding the incident. But so far there was hardly anything new to his pronouncements that were not known to the audience. Mr. Teddy Sabuga-a who spoke in behalf of Mayor Moreno announced a two million-peso reward to any person who could give information leading to the arrest of the real perpetrator of the bombing.

Cagayan de Oro is called the “City of Golden Friendship” because its people are known for their friendliness and hospitality to their visitors. Those traits in addition to the strategic location of the city in Mindanao are some of the reasons why Cagayan de Oro is a hub of investments, tourism and other economic activities that made it as one of the premier cities of Mindanao. Kagay-anons are saddened and outraged with the incident that caused embarrassment to their city. The bombing was an isolated incident, and it should not scare tourists and investors away from the city. Kagay-anons want a closure of the case with the arrest of the perpetrators and bringing them before the bar of justice.