Duterte: Suicide bombers carried out Jolo twin blasts
— Nestor A. Corrales (@NCorralesINQ) January 29, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte revealed on Tuesday that the deadly double explosions at a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, Sulu were a case of suicide bombing, involving a couple.
Duterte said he has ordered the military to arrest those behind the twin blasts that killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100.
“You have to look and arrest for the killers. Go into a punitive action,” he said in an ambush interview in Malabon City, referring to his order to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He said the ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf Group was behind the explosion.
“Yes, we are sure of that. Walang iba. Nobody but nobody can perpetuate that kind of terrorism thereabout sa lugar na… I have no doubt. That is what the military told me and that is what the police relayed to me. And I am guided by what government workers would tell me,” he said.
The President also revealed he knew about terror activity in Jolo months ago that’s why he sent a whole battalion of military there.
“Yes, we were already warned not only by Indonesia, by the rest of the… Kaya may umiikot na military doon,” he said.
The suicide bombers, he then said, was a couple, citing information he got from his security officials.
“Yes. Babae. Lalaki ‘yung isa. Mag-asawa,” he said.
Despite the incident, he believed there were no security lapses on the part of the police and military.
“No, I don’t think so. Walang lapses doon because the other bomber was outside. There was no reason for him to be frisked. Either he was just passing by before blowing himself up. Ang problema, iyan ang… Kasi ‘yung babae, almost wearing a cross pa. malaki ang cross sa dibdib niya so who would ever think,” he said.
“Eh kasi babae. Wala namang… It’s not the norm in this country na mag-kapkap ka ng babae na nasa simbahan lalo,” he added.
He vowed of military offensives following the blasts.
“It’s always a touch-and-go for us. We go there, we fight and look for the enemies of the state,” he said.
“Yes, that is always my order. Destroy the Abu Sayyaf, destroy the NPA and destroy the drug organization. If destroying is killing if you are interested to know, yes. Better para sa akin,” he also said.
Told that the military said it was not a suicide attack, he said it could be.
“Well, I don’t know. Kung hindi suicide bomber, ano? Ah, sabi niya, by cellphone? Yes, that’s a possibility. But the eyewitnesses said it’s the other way around. May kasama siguro. May support system,” he said. /kga
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