MANILA — “I am declaring now a state of lawlessness,” President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said early Saturday morning shortly after conferring with his police and security advisers in Davao City, where an explosion, which he now considers a terrorist act, left at least 14 people dead and dozens injured.
Duterte clarified that the “state of lawless violence” is not martial law, but that there “will be a lockdown of the city.”
“We have to confront the ugly head of terrorism…We will take this as a police matter about terrorism,” Duterte said as he stood just meters away from the blast site along Roxas Avenue in Davao City.
He did not discount the possibility that the explosion “could be a reprisal” from extremists.
“This is a police matter really…This remains a police investigation… We have leads but I will not reveal,” Duterte said.
President Duterte urged Davao residents to cooperate with authorities implementing the city lockdown and manning checkpoints. Earl Rosero/PNA/northboundasia.com