The Bishops of the Philippines expressed their condolences for the “several soldiers and civilians who were killed” in the explosions at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo during the Sunday Mass in a message which also condemned “this act of terrorism that has taken place only a few days after the plebiscite on the ‘Bangsamoro Organic Law’”. The Bishops, who are gathered in their Plenary Assembly in Manila (26-28 January), said they had received the news of the attack from Fr. Romeo S. Saniel, Apostolic Administrator of Jolo. In their message, signed by Mgr. Romulo G. Valles, Archbishop of Davao and President of the Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, they called on “our Christian brethren to join hands with all peace-loving Muslim and Indigenous People communities in the advocacy against violent extremism”, at the very time when a “new phase in the peace process” begins with the “creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARRM)”. The Bishops expressed hope that “all our peace religions can guide us in the search for a brighter future for the people of Mindanao”.