PNP: Jolo twin blasts not linked to BOL, plebiscite
MANILA, Philippines — The deadly twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu are not linked to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), Philippine National Police Spokesperson Senior Supt. Bernard Banac said on Tuesday.
“Based on our investigation, there is no connection between the two. This thing that happened, the bombing, is really just a clear and simple act of terrorism,” Banac said in an interview at ANC’s “Early Edition.”
“There’s nothing to do with the plebiscite and the Bangsamoro Organic Law. There’s no connection,” he added.
The statement came following the twin blasts at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu that killed at least 27 and injured at least 77 others last Sunday.
The explosions happened only a few days after the BOL was ratified with overwhelming votes from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Officials, however, speculated that the blasts were results of the BOL plebiscite as majority of voters in Sulu province rejected the law that seeks to expand autonomous Muslim region in the south.
The first part of the BOL plebiscite was held last January 21 in the ARMM provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi as well as in Isabela City in Basilan and in Cotabato City.
The BOL seeks to replace existing poverty- and conflict-wracked ARMM with a potentially larger, better-funded and more powerful region named Bangsamoro for the minority Muslims. /muf
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