Duterte angered by Jolo Bombings

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DAVAO CITY (January 29) —The Palace on yesterday said that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is outraged following the twin bombings inside and outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday.

Duterte went to Jolo yesterday to condole with the bereaved families of the 20 fatalities and empathized   with the wounded military and civilians  who are confined at the  hospitals.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a press briefing that Duterte is disappointed that despite the movement to tread the path towards peace and development in Mindanao, there are still forces which sow terror and kill people.

Panelo added that the President has already issued a directive to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to undertake measures so that incidents like this will not happen again.

President Rodrigo Duterte inspects the area inside Mt. Carmel Church where the first bomb exploded.-Photo Courtesy: Bong GO

“He has issued a directive to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to secure the safety of the citizenry and to attend to the injured and provide support to the families of the victims,” Panelo said, adding the President will personally go to Jolo today.

According to the Palace official, President Duterte doesn’t want to jump to conclusions as to who is behind the attacks despite the extremist group Islamic State claiming responsibility over the incident.

“[H]e will wait for the investigation… We have to await for the investigation who’s behind it, what groups and individuals,” Panelo added.

Panelo, meanwhile, hit back at those criticizing martial law, which is currently in place in the whole of Mindanao.

“[They are] saying that despite martial law, there has been bombing and therefore martial law should be lifted. With more reasons, martial law should be in place,” Panelo said.

“[B]ecause if you can do that under a martial law regime then the more reason you should maintain it and be more strict in the implementation of security measures in that area,” he added.

In the meantime, rather than speculating, Panelo said that the President is more concerned with those people affected and how to help their respective bereaved families.

“We express our sincerest and heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims and we will do everything possible to give justice to those who have perished… All government agencies have been directed to attend to the families,” Panelo said.

He likewise thanked those countries including Australia, Canada, and United Kingdom, which expressed their support and condolences following the bombings.

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“I’d like to acknowledge receipt of expressions of sympathies, condolences, and support from many countries of the world in relation to the tragic bombings,” Panelo said.

“I would like to express our thanks to our Pope, expressing also his sympathies to us,” he added.-NewsLIne.ph

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