JAKARTA: Parents of a 17-year-old accused of attacking a church in Medan apologized on Thursday to Christians, especially Catholics, for their son’s alleged attempt to bomb the St. Yosep Catholic Church in Medan and to kill the priest, Albertus Pandiangan.
The parents conveyed the apology during a press conference in the office of Medan’s Indonesian Advocates Association (Peradi).
Makmur Hasugian, 65, the father of the accused, said his family was shocked to learn about the attack against the church.
“Our family apologized. There has been no intention at all from us to hurt Christians, especially Catholics. We have Christians among our family,” Makmur said, crying.
He said his son was not a criminal, but a victim of radical teachings. He said there were people who influenced him and pushed him into radicalism.
“My son is the victim of radicalism. He is not a criminal. Someone persuaded him to do that,” said Makmur, who was formerly a lawyer.
Arista Purba, 54, the mother, said she was negligent in monitoring her 17-year-old boy. “This is my fault. I didn’t closely monitor him,” Arista said, crying.
Arista said she had visited her son at the Medan Police office. She said her son had apologized to all the people who were affected by the action. “He apologized for terrorizing many people and getting his family into trouble,” she said.
The accused was an alumna of state high school SMA 4 in Medan and just graduated this year. He turns 18 in October. – Jakarta Post/Asia News Network