A terrorist explosion in the southern Philippines persuaded the President of this country demand that all US troops left the area. But, according to some U.S. officials, the Americans were needed to fight Islamic militants. And one of the victims says he wants only God to assist in the fight against this scourge.
A few days after the President of the Philippines Duterte promised to deploy all-out war on terrorism, Islamic militants staged an explosion in his hometown of Davao.
On that fateful night people here doing massage, when there was the bomb. One of those who mourn the death of 15 innocent victims, clergyman Dennis Larida. In the explosion he lost his wife and only son.
Larida recalls how, instead of going to bed, he and his wife Melanie and 12-year-old son Josh decided to go to the night market for massage. What was supposed to be a pleasant family pastime, turned into a tragedy.
“I can’t even describe the pain I feel. I am very hurt. But I have no doubt in God. I know that this is His will for my wife and son — that they were in the glory of the Lord. I thank God for the strength that He gives me,” says Dennis Larida.
After the incident, the President Duterte immediately sent soldiers and police in the southern areas of the country affected by conflict. The explosion happened amid the ongoing peace process with Muslim insurgents in the southern Philippines. In a somewhat controversial statement, Duterte ordered US forces to leave Mindanao. According to him, the American presence may jeopardize the peace negotiations. Many local Muslims, known as Moros, blame the Americans for the mass murders that occurred here in the early 20th century. The Minister of defense of the Philippines Delfin of Lorenzana disagree. He said that Americans needed to help defeat Islamic terrorism: “We told them to stay there, to keep us supplied with equipment for reconnaissance and surveillance,” he says.
The Philippine military claimed that will defend people from the terrorists, regardless of whether the Americans leave or stay.
“We have no sophisticated equipment and weapons, but it is important people for any devices. We are entrusted with the protection of the Filipino citizens, and our soldiers ready to go to the greatest sacrifices — to give his life that others might live in security,” said Major Ezra Baleta, head of the Department of public information.
“This could help us to end the rebel groups and to reach a common understanding of what we all citizens can work together to build our nation that all was well, says pastor Bert Labuan. — Not everything can be solved by the presence of US troops. We can prove to myself that I can handle it with God’s help.
Meanwhile, the families of the innocent victims struggling to overcome the difficulties. Larida found out what is God’s purpose for him, and says that life goes on.
“I terribly miss my family — says Dennis Larida. But I also thank God for what happened, because I can spread the gospel around the world because of his testimony. If I met people who did this to my family, I would have shared the gospel with them. Who knows, would not have saved them. The death of his wife and son were not in vain. Someday we will see you in heaven.”