Lorenzana decries Jolo blast, vows ‘full force of law’ vs perpetrators
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana condemned the deadly bombing that hit a Roman Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu, adding that the “full force of the law” will be used to bring those behind the incident to justice.
“We strongly condemn the bombing at the Jolo Cathedral in Brgy Walled City, Jolo, Sulu today at 8:15 a.m. just before the start of the holy mass that killed and wounded soldiers and civilians,” Lorenzana said in a statement Sunday.
“We assure our people that we will use the full force of the law to bring to justice the perpetrators behind this incident,” he added.
Lorenzana said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has secured the area of the blast and have transported those injured to medical facilities. Some of the victims were also flown to Zamboanga City for further medication and evaluation.
“I have directed our troops to heighten their alert level, secure all places of worships and public places at once, and initiate pro-active security measures to thwart hostile plans,” he said.
“As we convey our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and offer our sympathy to the peace-loving people of Sulu who are severely affected by this dastardly act,” he added.
While he encouraged the public to be “more vigilant and to cooperative with the authorities in reporting any security-related concerns,” Lorenzana urged that everyone “remain calm” and that they should prevent from “spreading panic in our respective communities to deny terrorism any victory.”
Early Sunday, two explosions hit the Marian Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu. One inside the church while a Mass was ongoing and another one in the parking lot as government troops responded to the first blast. /je
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