PRRD certain Abu Sayyaf behind Jolo bombing

MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday said he is certain the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to be behind the twin explosions in a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, Sulu that killed 20 people and wounded 112 others.

“We are sure of that. Nobody can perpetuate that kind of terrorism thereabout sa lugar (in the area). I have no doubt,” Duterte said, reacting to questions in an interview after the groundbreaking of the new site of San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hospital in Malabon City.

“That is what the military told me and that is what the police relayed to me and I am guided by what the government workers would tell me,” he added.

Duterte said the two suicide bombers in the twin explosions are a couple.

He said there were no lapses on the military’s part in the incident, adding that they were warned by neighboring countries like Indonesia about the threat.

“It’s not a norm in this country na magkapkap ka ng babae (to touch women for security checks). Walang lapses doon (There were no lapses there). The other bomber was outside, there was no reason for him to be frisked. Ang problema kasi yung babae (The problem is the woman) was wearing a cross pa, who would ever think,” he said.

The Chief Executive, however, explained that this does not mean the government is washing hands on the incident.

“We are not washing our hands. Every time that there is death of a Filipino by violence, unless of course lumaban sa pulis o military (they engage the police or military in a firefight), that is a failure in governance to protect the people, and we admit those lapses,” he said.

Duterte said he has already ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to “destroy” the ASG.

“You have to arrest and look — look and arrest for the killers. Go into a punitive action. That is always my order. Destroy the Abu Sayyaf. Destroy the NPA and destroy the drug organizations. If destroying is killing, if you are interested to know, yes. Better,” he said. PNA –