Jolo bombing: Gov't thanks world leaders for messages of support.
Malacanang on Monday thanked Pope Francis and other world leaders for their messages of sympathy and support following the bombing of a church in Jolo, Sulu.
'I'd like to acknowledge receipt of expression of sympathies, condolences and support from many countries of the world in relation to the tragic bombing that caused the lives and injuries to many people, particularly those that I have read from Australia, Canada and Ambassador Daniel Pruce of the Great Britain,' Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
'And we would like to express our thanks also to our Pope, (for) expressing also his sympathy to us,' he added.
Several countries condemned the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral that killed at least 25 people and wounded 111 others during a Holy Mass on Sunday.
Pope strongly condemns Jolo church attack
In a statement, the European Union said this is not only a human tragedy but 'also an attack against the basic right to practice one's religion.'
Canada, meanwhile, said it 'strongly condemns' the bombing which it called 'a despicable act of cowardice.'
For his part, Pope Francis, the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, also condemned the attack.
He expressed 'the firmest reproach for this episode of violence.'
'I raise my prayers for the dead and wounded. May the Lord, prince of peace, convert the hearts of the violent and give the inhabitants of that region a peaceful coexistence,' the Pope said during the World Youth Day celebrations in Panama.
Malacanang has condemned the explosion and vowed to crush the 'godless criminals behind the incident.'
'The Armed Forces of the Philippines will rise to the challenge and crush these godless criminals. We will pursue to the ends of the earth the ruthless perpetrators behind this dastardly crime until every killer is brought to justice and put behind bars,' Panelo said in a statement on Sunday.