President Rodrigo Duterte felt anger and disappointment due to the simultaneous explosions at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu on Sunday, Jan. 27.
Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Monday, Jan. 28, said that the President has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure that the incident will not happen again.
Duterte also directed the AFP to secure the safety of the citizens, attend to the injured, and provide succor to the the families of the victims.
“Of course, he was so angry for one. For another, he is so disappointed that despite the movement to thread the path towards peace and development, there are still certain forces in that region who sowed terror and killed and murdered people,” Panelo said during a press conference in Malacanang.
Meanwhile, Malacanang believes that the bombing proves the need for martial law in Mindanao.
“With more reason, martial law should be in place because if you can do that under a martial law regime, then the more reason you should maintain it and be more strict in the implementation of security measures in that area,” Panelo said.
The Malacanang spokesperson insisted that Martial Law remains effective in Mindanao and that the recent bombing should be considered an isolated incident.
However, he admitted that there could be a lapse in security, which caused the two explosions that killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100 individuals.
“The fact alone that there is only one incident of bombing for the last, how many, one year plus? That means martial is effective. Can you imagine how many bombings there would have been if there was no martial law there in operation?” Panelo said.
“If there was no martial law there, then there would have been chaos and anarchy there. You see how they were able to get Marawi? There was no martial law then,” Panelo added.
Panelo reiterated that ‘no amount of terrorism can stop the journey to peace and development in’ Mindanao. He also promised that the government will do everything possible to give justice to those who have perished, and to attend to the families of the victims.
“Meanwhile, we’ll pray for the eternal repose to the souls of those who are killed, even as we attend to the injured,” Panelo added.