Lorenzana: Jolo and Zamboanga blasts likely unrelated
MANILA, Philippines — The grenade explosion in Zamboanga City before dawn Wednesday is likely not related to the recent twin bombings in a Jolo cathedral, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
“We’re still looking at it pero wala naman makitang koneksyon even in the past. Nung binomba ang churches sa Davao, Cotabato and Gen San wala namang nag-gantihan. No mosque was bombed in retaliation immediately after,” he told reporters.
“Sinabi naman ni President sa Jolo that the Christians and Muslims have been coexisting for a hundred years and wala naman gantihan doon,” he added.
Two were killed and four were injured when a grenade was thrown inside a mosque in Brgy. Talon-talon in Zamboanga City past midnight Wednesday.
This comes after the twin explosions at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo last Sunday, which left 21 killed and about a hundred wounded.
Lorenzana said it appears that the ISIS wants to bring this to a religious war, but Christians and Muslims refuse to be divided.
Asked to confirm that the Islamic State is behind the blasts, the defense chief said: “Hindi malayo.”
ISIS has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombings in Jolo, saying it was their suicide bombers who carried out the attack. The military earlier said they are looking at the Abu Sayyaf’s Ajang-Ajang faction as the perpetrators behind the blasts.
“It appears to be a suicide bombing and I was also convinced immediately na baka suicide bombing yun. But pagka kasi sa suicide bombing na yan, somebody will immediately claim na itong taong ito naging martir. Wala pa naman tayong nakikitang ganon eh,” Lorenzana said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, urged Filipinos to be calm after the blasts and called on them not to be swayed by the religious angle of the incidents.
“We once again call for sobriety and calm on the part of our people. Let us not be swayed by the recent developments that seem to project a religious complexion in the recent tragic incident,” said AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo. /muf
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