Asean condemns MSU terror attack
The Southeast Asian bloc Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) on Friday strongly condemned what it called a “heinous terrorist attack” at Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi that killed four people and injured 50 others on Dec. 3, following a blast at the gymnasium where a Mass was being celebrated.
“Asean strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack in Marawi, Lanao del Sur Province. We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish the injured a speedy recovery,” the Asean said in a statement.
“We stand in solidarity and are ready to work with the Government and people of the Philippines during this difficult time. We also reaffirm our commitment to continue, strengthen, and enhance regional counterterrorism cooperation to prevent recurrence of terrorist incidents in the future,” it added. The Asean is composed of the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
While the statement did not show the signatures of the respective governments, the website represents the stance of the Asean as a whole.
The Asean added that it “fully supports” the efforts of the government in addressing the situation and locating and arresting those responsible for the bombing.
2 more suspects named
On Wednesday, one of the suspects, Jafar Gamo Sultan, was arrested by the Task Force Marawi and Marawi City Police at Barangay Dulay Proper in Marawi, the Armed Forces of the Philippines announced on Friday. According to the AFP, Sultan was a companion of a certain “Omar” who was seen by witnesses to have placed the improvised explosive at the MSU’s Dimaporo Gymnasium.
According to the Philippine National Police, two other suspects have also been identified—Kadapu Mimbisa and Arsani Mimbisa—who are members of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group. But the two suspects have yet to be located or arrested. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack. President Marcos said “foreign terrorists” were behind it and police said they were investigating the incident and validating the claim by the Islamic State group.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday expressed its gratitude to the Asean for strongly condemning the attack.
Justice Assistant Secretary Dominic Clavano said that the department will also be looking forward to any “future assistance” the 10-member states may be able to provide to bring in the perpetrators of the bombing.
“We are grateful for the solidarity shown by the Asean community. While we have started our efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice, we welcome any future assistance that the Asean may extend to further enhance intelligence to prevent any similar incident from happening again,” Clavano said.
“Rest assured, we are committed to establishing peace and order in our beloved country,” Clavano added. —With a report from Reuters