A mosque in Zamboanga city was bombed on Wednesday, a few days after the twin bombing of a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu on January 27. In response to these recent acts of terror, Malacañang said it will be stepping up to protect Mindanaoans.
Two were killed and three others injured in the bombing of a mosque in Logoy, Diutay, Barangay Talon-talon, Zamboanga City. Authorities have yet to determine whether this attack and the church bombing in Sulu are related.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the national government will be responding to the “taunting challenge” by strengthening the presence of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to secure the safety of residents and provide Mindanaoans with whatever support they’d need.
“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 taunting challenge to the capability of the government to secure the safety of the inhabitants in Mindanao,” said Panelo in a statement.
Panelo went on to describe the perpetrators of the attacks as “ruthless” and “godless”, referring to how they targeted two different religious institutions and preyed on those trying to worship.
Panelo also asked the people of Mindanao to resist being “intimidated” and “cowed” by the attacks. He encouraged them to work with the government to provide authorities with information that could lead to bringing those behind the bombings to justice. with citizen cooperation, authorities can better undertake “appropriate measures to prevent the occurrence of any act of deathly violence”.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines will unleash its might and weaponry against these enemies of the state and hunt them ferociously and relentlessly until the law rolls down its guillotine on them,” Panelo said.
Panelo also mentioned the government’s efforts to achieve long-lasting peace in Mindanao. These will reportedly continue on, despite the attacks.
“The quest for peace and progress by the Bangsamoro people will not be stalled by any obstacle thrown at their path,” Panelo said.
“The movement to change the face of Mindanao and the oppressive conditions affecting its people shall move forward despite these acts of terrorism,” he added.
Both the Zamboanga mosque bombing and the Jolo church attacks came mere days after the historic ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) on January 21.