Palace to pursue peace in Mindanao despite terror acts

DESPITE the spate of terror acts, the Duterte administration has vowed to keep working to achieve long-lasting peace and progress in Mindanao, Malacañang said on Wednesday, January 30.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this promise after two people died while at least four others were wounded in a grenade blast inside a mosque in Zamboanga City past 12 a.m. on Wednesday.

It was the second bombing incident in Mindanao in a span of four days. On Sunday, January 27, twin explosions rocked a Catholic Church in Jolo, Sulu, leaving 21 people killed.

In a statement, Panelo said the successive explosions that struck two places of worship depicted the "ruthlessness and the godlessness" of mass murderers.

"Terrorism has once again reared its barbaric and ugly head by unleashing another bomb in a mosque in Zamboanga killing at least two Muslim religious followers and injuring four others," the Palace official said.

"This latest act of murder apart from the terrorists sowing terror in the Mindanao region, coming as it does in the wake of the Jolo dastardly bombing, is a daunting challenge to the capability of the government to secure the safety of the inhabitants in Mindanao," he added.

Panelo said the bombing incidents in Jolo and Zamboanga City would not deter the current administration from delivering its promise to secure the people in Mindanao, which is under martial rule until end of 2019.

He said the military would "unleash its might and weaponry" against the enemies of the state.

He also assured the public that the government troops would hunt the perpetrators of the explosions "ferociously and relentlessly until the law rolls down its guillotine on them."

"The quest for peace and progress by the Bangsamoro people will not be stalled by any obstacle thrown at their path. The movement to change the face of Mindanao and the oppressive conditions affecting its people shall move forward despite these acts of terrorism," Panelo said.

"We assure those who live and sojourn in that part of the region that the government will secure their safety and provide them with whatever support they need with dispatch and sufficiency," he aded.

Panelo was optimistic that individuals residing in the southern part of the country would continue living normally despite the explosions.

He encouraged them to remain vigilant and alert for "any noticeable abnormality in their surrounding."

The Palace official likewise encouraged them to immediately report to authorities any suspicious activities.

"The Mindanao citizenry will not be cowed nor intimidated even as they go about their daily activities," he said.

"Immediately [provide] the authorities with the information [so] that [they] may undertake appropriate measures to prevent the occurrence of any act of deathly violence," Panelo added. (SunStar Philippines)


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