HAVING a Filipino suicide bomber is a "cause for concern", Malacañang said on Thursday, July 11.
"Ganoon na pala katapang ang Pilipino na papatayin niya ang sarili niya to advance the advocacy of terrorists," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
"It's a cause for concern, given that this is the first time that there is a Filipino suicide bomber. It goes against the grain of the character of Filipinos, 'yung magsi-suicide ka para sa terrorism (that you'll kill yourself for terrorism)," he added.
Panelo was reacting to the DNA test results confirming that one of two suicide bombers who attacked a military camp in Indanan, Sulu on June 28, 2019 was a Filipino.
The DNA test conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory showed that the sample taken from a severed head recovered after the bombing matched the DNA of a Tausug mother who had claimed that the head belonged to her son Norman Lasuca.
At least eight persons were killed, including three soldiers, when Lasuca and a child allegedly caused explosions at the military camp in Indanan.
Lasuca was the first known Filipino suicide bomber.
Asked if there was a specific instruction from President Rodrigo Duterte following the Sulu bombings, Panelo said: "The directive is always to enhance the technology in surveillance and intelligence work."
Pressed on whether Duterte might extend martial rule in Mindanao, the Palace official said, "That's the call of the President."
Mindanao has been placed under martial law since May 23, 2017, when Muslim extremists laid siege to Marawi City in Lanao del Sur. The martial law declaration has been extended thrice until December 31, 2019.
Duterte on July 10 sought to boost the defense capabilities of the Philippine forces, as he cautioned against a possible looming terror threat in the country,
Following the first case of suicide bombing perpetrated by a Filipino, Panelo advised the public to stay safe and be vigilant against suspicious activities.
"The usual payo na natin na mag-ingat. Anumang nakikita nila na hindi normal, ipaalam nila sa mga kaukulang awtoridad, lalo na 'yung mga nakikita nilang galaw na mapanganib para sa kanilang kalagayan," the Palace official said.
(Our advice is for them to be safe. They should report to authorities any activities that seem to be unusual and could endanger their lives.) (SunStar Philippines)