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Mindanao martial law thwarted more attacks – PNP

/ 01:31 PM February 04, 2019
PNP on nationwide heightened alert after Jolo blasts

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde inspects on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019 the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu, where twin blasts during a Sunday Mass left at least 20 killed and 112 injured. Photo courtesy of PNP

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde ditched talks that martial law in Mindanao is ineffective given the recent bombings in the region, saying that there could have been more attacks without its implementation.

Albayalde claimed that martial law in Mindanao delayed the January 27 bombings at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, which killed 23 people and wounded 95 others.

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“Kung walang martial law baka last year pa iyan, baka mamaya three or four na incidents [na] iyan. Remember the presence of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in Mindanao and different factions or threat groups [there],” Albayalde said in a press briefing on Monday, February 4.

(Without martial law, it might have happened last year or there could have been three or four incidents already. Remember the presence of IEDs in Mindanao and different factions or threat groups there.)

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Albayalde said the Jolo bombing suspects, believed to be part of the 22-member Abu Sayyaf band led by Hatid Hajan Sawadjaan, were only able to carry out the bombings after government troops “relaxed”.

“Nakasingit iyan noong nakita nila na medyo nagrelax [‘yung troops]. Medyo nakakita sila ng butas [in security operations].

(This happened when they saw that the troops somehow relaxed. They saw a weakness in the security operations),” he said.

On January 30, three days after the Jolo cathedral bombing, a grenade explosion rocked a mosque in Zamboanga City, which killed two Islam preachers and wounded four others. / gsg

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