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HEADLINES NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

SATURDAY 12:16 am - SURVIVORS RECOUNT HORROR OF DAVAO EXPLOSION
[RELATED SEPT 5 -Gov’t facing the enemy: Palace tells public not to succumb to fear amid bombing]


SEPTEMBER 3 -At least 14 people were killed in a powerful blast that ripped through a night market in Davao City on Friday evening. KARLOS MANLUPIG/INQUIRER MINDANAO
They thought it was just another ordinary night at the Roxas night market. Among those who died in the blast that killed 14 people and wounded 67 others (official figure as of 6 a.m. Saturday), was a 12-year-old boy and an unidentified woman presumed to be his mother; and a police officer. Most of those hit by the blast that hit Roxas Boulevard night market Friday night were women–including masseuses, food vendors and customers. Jeramil Bansil, 33, was in the middle of massaging his customer at the massage section of the night market when he heard a loud explosion. He felt that he was hit by something and suddenly discovered his world had blurred. “Nihanap na ako panan-aw, hapdos kaayo ako nawong (My sight turned blurry, I felt the pain on my face),” said Bansil, one of the 34 patients wounded from the blast treated at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here. He recalled the shouts of people, the chaos as they scampered in all directions, and the bodies sprawled on the ground. “Wa na ko kabalo naunsa akong customer, daghan ang nangatumba, naniyagit ang mga tawo (I no longer knew where my customer went, many people fell, there was shouting all around me),” Bansil said, while hospital nurses attended to the wounds on his face. READ: Duterte: State of lawlessness part of duty to protect PH Just 12 meters away, Joan Marie Salugsugan, 20, a third year criminology student at the University of Mindanao, was out eating barbecue with friends, when they heard a loud blast. She looked around, saw the commotion and found her friends sprawled on the ground. It was then, when she realized her left foot was hit too. “I stayed there, and did not move, until somebody helped me, because I was hit on my left foot,” Salugsugan said in an SPMC ward filled with blast patients. The explosion came mainly from the massage section of the night market, said Wilfredo Masukat Jr., 22, a dim sum vendor hit by shrapnel, about 12 meters away from the blast site. READ MORE...RELATED, Gov’t facing the enemy: Palace tells public not to succumb to fear amid bombing...

ALSO Mayor Sara: ‘Stay calm & uncowed’; Davao City reopens bombed Night Market; business as usual
[RELATED: Police pursue 'persons of interest' in Davao blast: Sara Duterte-Carpio]


SEPTEMBER 4 -DAVAO CITY MAYOR SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO
DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio refused to bow down to the terror attack by suspected Abu Sayyaf jihadists and ordered the Roxas night market to reopen Sunday despite the Friday bombing that killed 14 people and hurt 67 others. “We will not be terrorized by this heinous crime and I call on all Dabawenyos to unite and let us help each other rise from this senseless incident,” Duterte said, hours after her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, declared a “state of lawlessness.” The declaration will allow President Duterte to security forces to implement sufficient measures to ensure public safety. Mayor Duterte, who is pregnant with triplets, said Davao City will continue its usual activities, like the Roxas night market, and it will intensify all security measures to ensure the safety of the Davaoeños. The mayor also reminded other officials to be bounded by their own duties in their own position as she will work according to her responsibilities. READ MORE...RELATED,
Police pursue 'persons of interest' in Davao blast: Sara Duterte...

ALSO: ‘Prepare for Abu reprisals’ -Duterte warns nation: 'There'll be sacrifices'
[Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte believed the Abu Sayyaf was behind the blast.]
[RELATED: De Lima to Rody on 'state of lawlessness': Don’t wag the dog]
[De Lima was apparently referring to the 1997 movie “Wag the Dog” starring Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman, where the US president created a war scenario to cover up for a sex scandal.]


SEPTEMBER 5 -
Paramedics prepare to transport the victims of the bomb attack at the Davao City night market. 3 hunted for bombing; Rody warns nation of sacrifices -DAVAO CITY, Philippines – As the government tightens the noose on the Abu Sayyaf, reprisals can be expected from the terrorist group, and the nation must be prepared to make sacrifices, President Duterte warned yesterday. Authorities said the Abu Sayyaf most likely carried out last Friday’s bomb attack in this city in response to a military offensive launched against the bandits since last week. Duterte stressed he wanted to end the Abu Sayyaf threat, but warned of consequences. “I am calling on the nation to prepare for reprisals. There will be sacrifices to be made, but we have to address this problem once and for all,” he said. Duterte said last Friday’s bomb attack served as the proverbial last straw. At least 15 people were killed and another 70 were wounded in the explosion. Sixteen of the injured are in critical condition. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte believed the Abu Sayyaf was behind the blast. “The Office of the President texted and confirmed that it was an Abu Sayyaf retaliation. On the part of the city government, we are working on that – that – that it is an Abu Sayyaf retaliation,” the President’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Abu Sayyaf had struck back after suffering heavy casualties on its stronghold in Jolo. “We have predicted this and warned our troops accordingly but the enemy is also adept at using the democratic space granted by our constitution to move around freely and unimpeded to sow terror,” Lorenzana said in a statement. Duterte, who was in Davao City at the time of the attack but not near the market where the explosion occurred, told reporters before dawn Saturday that it was an act of terrorism, as he announced extra powers for the military, placing the entire country under a “state of lawlessness.” READ MORE...RELATED, De Lima to Rody on 'state of lawlessness': Don’t wag the dog...

ALSO BATO SAYS ATTACK TIED TO WAR VS ABU SAYYAF: 3 eyed in Davao bombing[RELATED: We need to prepare, not panic – Palace]


SEPTEMBER 5 -BATO DE LA ROSA
DAVAO CITY—Police investigators fanned out on Sunday in search of three persons of interest in Friday night’s bombing of the Davao City night market that left 14 people dead and 68 wounded. Two women and a man, described by witnesses to be in his 40s and with medium build, hurriedly left after having a massage session at the market, according to the police.
Witnesses claimed that the man left a backpack under the massage bed, and when workers tried to call his attention to his bag, he did not look back and continued to walk away. A few seconds later, the explosion took place, they said. A police checkpoint was set up on the road between the airport and downtown, otherwise the city appeared calm. The downtown area, normally bustling on Sundays, appeared deserted. No visible stepped-up security was in place at the airport terminal building. Residents said checkpoints had been set up along highways leading to and out of the city. Continuing investigations Investigators are questioning eight witnesses as well as claims that the Abu Sayyaf is responsible for the carnage, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told reporters. “We take it at face value, but then again we have to validate,” Dela Rosa said of the claim by a spokesperson of the bandit group that was the object of an intense military operation on Jolo following the ambush-slaying of 15 soldiers last week. Several Army battalions have been thrown into the Jolo campaign to free at least 16 foreign and five Filipino hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf. President Duterte, who was in Zamboanga City to condole with the families of the soldiers and visit the wounded before he flew to Davao City on Wednesday night, called off his two-day trip to Brunei beginning Sunday to meet with Cabinet and security officials. The meeting began late Saturday and ended early Sunday. READ MORE...MORE PHOTOS.RELATED, We need to prepare, not panic – Palace...

ALSO: Philippines blames IS-linked Abu Sayyaf for bomb in Duterte's Davao


SEPTEMBER 3 -Rallyists display placards condemning the bombing at a market in Davao city during a candlelight protest in front of the Catholic church in Quiapo city, metro Manila, Philippines September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
DAVAO, PHILIPPINES - Philippine police blamed Islamic State-linked rebels on Saturday for a bombing that killed 14 people in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown and dealt a blow to the firebrand leader's bloody crackdown on narcotics and militancy.
Investigators said Abu Sayyaf, a southern Philippine group notorious for acts of piracy, kidnappings and beheadings, had claimed responsibility for Friday's night bombing at a Davao street market, although police said they were still trying to authenticate the claim. The attack rattled the normally peaceful home city of Duterte, who typically spends his weekends there, some 980 kilometers away from the capital Manila. He was in Davao at the time of the bombing but far from the site of the blast outside a hotel where he often holds meetings. National police chief Ronald Dela Rosa said the bomb was home-made and fragments of mortar were found at the site, where two "persons of interest" had been caught on camera. The bomb was likely to have been planted by Abu Sayyaf, he said, to divert the military's attention from its operations to flush them out of their strongholds on the islands of Basilan and Jolo. The military on Tuesday agreed to deploy a further 2,500 troops to carry out Duterte's order to "destroy" Abu Sayyaf. "From being offensive, they want us to be defensive," Dela Rosa told a news conference late on Saturday. READ MORE...

ALSO: Abu has claimed responsibility for the Davao blast, warns of more attacks
[RELATED IN ANOTHER REPORT: Abu Sayyaf disowns Davao explosion, says ally was behind attack]


SEPTEMBER 3 -Police investigators inspect the area of a market where an explosion happened in Davao City. Lean Daval Jr., Reuters ZAMBOANGA CITY (1st UPDATE) - The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has claimed responsibility for the blast in Davao City which left 14 dead and more than 60 wounded on Friday evening. ASG spokesperson Abu Rami said the Davao attack is a "call for unity to all mujahideen in the country" amid the all-out offensive of the military against the group. Rami said that the attack in Davao City is not part of a tactic to divert the attention of government forces who have been pursuing the bandits in Sulu and Basilan. He warned that similar attacks should be expected in the coming days.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this week ordered intensified operations to finish off the 400-strong terror group, following the death of 15 soldiers in a clash in Patikul, Sulu. After the explosion in Davao, Duterte also declared a "state of lawlessness," where he will "invite uniformed personnel to run the country." Duterte declares 'state of lawlessness'
The military and the Philippine National Police earlier dismissed circulating text messages about an imminent attack.THE FULL REPORT, RELATED,
IN ANOTHER REPORT: Abu Sayyaf disowns Davao explosion, says ally was behind attack..


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Survivors recount horror of Davao explosion


At least 14 people were killed in a powerful blast that ripped through a night market in Davao City on Friday evening. KARLOS MANLUPIG/INQUIRER MINDANAO

DAVAO CITY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Germelina Lacorte @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao 12:16 PM September 3rd, 2016 - They thought it was just another ordinary night at the Roxas night market.

Among those who died in the blast that killed 14 people and wounded 67 others (official figure as of 6 a.m. Saturday), was a 12-year-old boy and an unidentified woman presumed to be his mother; and a police officer. Most of those hit by the blast that hit Roxas Boulevard night market Friday night were women–including masseuses, food vendors and customers.

Jeramil Bansil, 33, was in the middle of massaging his customer at the massage section of the night market when he heard a loud explosion. He felt that he was hit by something and suddenly discovered his world had blurred.

“Nihanap na ako panan-aw, hapdos kaayo ako nawong (My sight turned blurry, I felt the pain on my face),” said Bansil, one of the 34 patients wounded from the blast treated at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here.

He recalled the shouts of people, the chaos as they scampered in all directions, and the bodies sprawled on the ground.

“Wa na ko kabalo naunsa akong customer, daghan ang nangatumba, naniyagit ang mga tawo (I no longer knew where my customer went, many people fell, there was shouting all around me),” Bansil said, while hospital nurses attended to the wounds on his face.

READ: Duterte: State of lawlessness part of duty to protect PH

Just 12 meters away, Joan Marie Salugsugan, 20, a third year criminology student at the University of Mindanao, was out eating barbecue with friends, when they heard a loud blast. She looked around, saw the commotion and found her friends sprawled on the ground. It was then, when she realized her left foot was hit too.

“I stayed there, and did not move, until somebody helped me, because I was hit on my left foot,” Salugsugan said in an SPMC ward filled with blast patients.

The explosion came mainly from the massage section of the night market, said Wilfredo Masukat Jr., 22, a dim sum vendor hit by shrapnel, about 12 meters away from the blast site.

READ MORE...

Masukat’s claim was seconded by Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, who added that it would explain why many of those wounded were massage attendants and their customers.

VIDEO: Duterte visits morgue to see Davao blast victims

 
https://youtu.be/g79OoCIz77I
Duterte visits Davao bombing site INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe62,888 Add to Share More 74 views 2 0 ShareEmbedEmail https://youtu.be/g79OoCIz77I Start at: 0:52 Published on Sep 3, 2016 President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday visited the site of a bombing late Friday night at Roxas Boulevard in Davao City which killed at least 14 people and injured 71. Video by RTVM/edited by RYAN LEAGOGO

Of the 14 reported to have been killed in the explosion Friday night, 10 died instantly, while the rest died in the different hospitals in the city.

A list provided by the Southern Mindanao police office showed that three patients died at the Southern Philippines Medical Center and another one at the San Pedro Hospital.

Among the three people reported dead at the SPMC was 12-year-old boy Larida Daniel, and a still unidentified woman presumed to be his mother.

The boy died of multiple lacerated wounds in his frontal area, right shoulder and right thigh.

The woman, identified only as MS X 88 B, suffered from a cardiopulmonary arrest due to massive blood loss from the number of blast wounds she received, while another unidentified woman died in the operating room.

Dr. Ricardo Auldan, SPMC chief of clinics, said SPMC will shoulder all expenses of the blast victims.

“What we can assure you, we will shoulder all expenses,” he said, explaining that they are a government hospital and they believe it is is their responsibility to offer their services to the victims.

Of the 34 people admitted at the SPMC, 20 were women. The initial list of patients at the SPMC as of 5:30 a.m. 00:52


Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte stood firm that the city must "not be terrorized" by the blast that ripped through the city's popular night market Friday evening. "We will not be terrorized by this heinous crime and I call on all Dabawenyos to unite and let us help each other rise from this senseless incident," Sara Duterte said as she extended her condolences to the victims' families. FROM ABS-CBN FILE

Mayor Sara Duterte has expressed her deepest sorrow for the victims, assured them of the government’s help, even as she organized a memorial at 4 p.m. Saturday, at the Roxas explosion site.

“We will not be terrorized by this heinous crime,” Mayor Duterte said, “I call on all Dabawenyos to unite, let us remain vigilant, please rport any and all suspicious activity, no matter how insignificant it may seem,” she said.

“I am sorry for what happened,” she told the families of the victims. “I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of those who died last night. I would also like to reassure all of them, as well as the families of those who are injured that the City Government of Davao will assist in all their needs for hospitalization, burial, funeral and day to day expenses. I am sorry for what happened.”

She also reminded other local officials to “stay within the bounds of their official duties, according to their positions.” “Please leave me in peace to do my job and I’ll leave you to focus on your own work.” CDG

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Gov’t facing the enemy: Palace tells public not to succumb to fear amid bombing September 5, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share301 By Genalyn D. Kabiling and Antonio L. Colina IV


 EXTRA VIGILANT – Members of the Philippine Coast Guard patrol the coast of Manila as part of the heightened security that was implemented when President Duterte declared a state of lawless violence in the country, following the deadly Friday bombing in Davao City that killed 15 people and wounded more than 60 others at a crowded night market. (Ali Vicoy / Manila Bulletin)

Malacañang called on the people yesterday not to succumb to fear even as it assured that security forces are keeping guard against the “faceless enemy” behind the night market blast that killed 15 people and wounded 71 others which authorities believe to be “80 percent” the handiwork of terrorists.

President Duterte held an emergency meeting with the Cabinet security cluster, police, and military officials in Davao City early Sunday morning to tackle the government’s strategy against security threats.

Among those present were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., Agriculture Secretary Emmauel Piñol, Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. General Ricardo Visaya, and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.

 Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Martin Andanar said the police and military have been mobilized to suppress security threats but would need the cooperation of the public.

“These terrorists will always find a way to retaliate, of course ‘yun ang trabaho nila to terrorize people, and for us, the citizens, to ensure we are cowed by the terrorists, we continue with what we do,” Andanar said over government radio.

“We are facing a faceless enemy and the best way we can defeat terrorists is to get our act together as government as one people,” he said. “Let’s watch each other’s back.”

“On a scale of 1 to 100, we’re looking at 15 percent they (drug lords) are responsible for the bombings, 80 percent yung responsable yung terrorists o bandido, five percent yung maliliit na breakaway group. That’s what the President said during our meeting,” he said.

He said the President and his Cabinet intend to “work hard” to protect the nation but recognized that terrorists can strike anywhere, anytime.

“It is apparent terrorism and terrorist acts will happen and they happened during the most unsuspecting times so we just really have to be careful,” he said. “We have to accept the fact that our government is waging a serious war on illegal drugs, serious war on terrorism in Sulu in Basilan,” he added.

He also asked the public to remain vigilant and cooperate with authorities in preventing terror and violence in the country. He said they can join the “neighborhood watch” and report to authorities any suspicious person or activity in their community.

“This is not the fight of the government. This is the fight of the entire country,” he said.

The President earlier placed the country under a state of lawlessness, authorizing the military to help the police prevent terror and violence.

3 SUSPECTS

The government is now eyeing three suspects – one male and two females – who may have involvement in Friday’s blast.

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said a thorough investigation was already started to look for clues that could lead to the identification of the perpetrators despite the admission of the Abu Sayyaf that their sympathizers based in mainland Mindanao were responsible for the attack.

“We are currently cross-matching signature (of the bomb) and testimonies of the witnesses to the rogue’s gallery of terror suspects,” said dela Rosa.

But as of press time yesterday, it was learned that the cross-matching process had negative results.

On Saturday, Dela Rosa said he and other security officials met with President Duterte and discussed everything about the Davao City bombing.

“He was mad, he was mad because of what happened… but he was not angry at us because he admitted the fact that even powerful countries also became victims of terrorism,” said dela Rosa.

He said the President also recognized the fact that a bombing attack would occur amid the on-going operations to finish off the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan and Sulu.

Dela Rosa said the ASG may have successfully carried out the attack but emphasized that the government will make sure that they will pay for it.

“There’s a time for them, and there will be a time for us. They will not be lucky every time, there will come a time that we will be lucky against them,” said dela Rosa.

READINESS

After the Davao City attack, Dela Rosa said there is a need to make sure that all the potential targets, especially urban areas in Mindanao and even Metro Manila are secured.

“With what happened to Davao City, all cities must be prepared now,” said dela Rosa.

“We don’t want to be panicky but we want to make sure that we are prepared so that they will not be given the chance to strike again,” he added.

In Metro Manila which is usually the main target of terror groups, the National Capital Region Police Office has already mapped out security measures which include intensified security on places of convergence, mass transport and other potential targets.

Dela Rosa also disclosed that an Executive Order may be issued anytime soon, detailing the scope of the State of Lawlessness declared by Duterte.

“We are just waiting for it, it is just being finalized by the Executive Secretary,” said dela Rosa

Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 spokesperson Senior Insp. Andrea Dela Cerna said that they are reconstructing the debris recovered from the scene to determine what kind explosive device was used by the perpetrators.

“But we are not limiting the persons of interest to three. There could be more,” she said.

Security has been tightened in the city after the night market blast.

City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said that she is not closing the night market and that it will remain open to vendors.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Senior Insp. Michael John Dubria said 200 security personnel have been deployed on Roxas Avenue.

He added they are studying if they can put a fence around the night market and looking at designating entry and exit points to ensure the safety of the night market-goers.

Lawyer Raul A. Nadela Jr., chief of staff of the Mayor, said they are continuously extending assistance to the families of the killed and wounded victims.

He said that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has signified interest to extend support to the explosion victims.

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) also strongly denounced the senseless and inhumane bombing of a night market in Davao City.

Retired Justice Raoul Victorino, NCCP chairman, said: “While we lift the families of the fatalities in our collective thoughts and fervent prayers, we resoundingly express our righteous indignation at such an attack against unarmed, peace-loving civilian community.”

NO TO MILF HELP

The government is not yet keen on asking for assistance from Muslim rebel groups in the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf Group in the country.

Andanar said the police and military are capable of doing their job in addressing the terror threat following the night market explosion in Davao City.

“For now, the authorities that we have right now are tamang-tama lang, kayang-kaya nila ang trabaho [For now, the authorities we have right now are sufficient. They can do the job],” Andanar said when asked if the President will tap the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the fight against the ASG terrorists. (With reports from Francis T. Wakefield and Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)


MANILA STANDARD

‘Stay calm & uncowed’: Davao City reopens bombed night market posted September 04, 2016 at 12:01 am by F. Pearl A. Gajunera


DAVAO CITY MAYOR SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio refused to bow down to the terror attack by suspected Abu Sayyaf jihadists and ordered the Roxas night market to reopen Sunday despite the Friday bombing that killed 14 people and hurt 67 others.

“We will not be terrorized by this heinous crime and I call on all Dabawenyos to unite and let us help each other rise from this senseless incident,” Duterte said, hours after her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, declared a “state of lawlessness.”

The declaration will allow President Duterte to security forces to implement sufficient measures to ensure public safety.

Mayor Duterte, who is pregnant with triplets, said Davao City will continue its usual activities, like the Roxas night market, and it will intensify all security measures to ensure the safety of the Davaoeños.

The mayor also reminded other officials to be bounded by their own duties in their own position as she will work according to her responsibilities.

READ MORE...


We will find you. A crime scene investigator collects evidence next to one of the 14 people who were killed at the bombing of the Roxas night market in Davao City late Friday. AFP Photo

“Please leave me in peace to do my job and I’ll leave you to focus on your own work,” she said. She also reminded the public to be vigilant as the terror threats continue.

Duterte also assured the families of the victims that the city government will assist with all their needs for hospitalization, burial and even day to day expenses.

City Traffic and Transportation Management Office Chief Rhodelio Poliquit also said that the night market will continue.

At 4 p.m. Saturday, the city conducted a memorial mass for all the victims of the explosion.


Published September 3, 2016 9:54am Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Saturday called on Dabawenyos to be vigilant after an explosion rocked the home city of the President the night before, killing at least 15 people and injuring around 60 others. In a statement, Sara, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, said, "I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of those who died last night." "I would also like to reassure all of them, as well as the families of those who are injured that the City Government of Davao will assist in all their needs for hospitalization, burial, funeral and day to day expenses," Sara said. FROM GAM NEWS ONLINE

It was the second time Davao City suffered a terror attack after a similar bombing in 2003 at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal. The city’s airport, seaport and cathedrals also suffered an explosion before.

Already, the Department of National Defense has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to place all its commands on high alert.

“I have directed all commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be on high alert especially in urban centers for possible other terroristic act attempts by this group,” said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

“The Eastern Command in Davao City has been directed to assist the PNP in maintaining peace and order in Davao City and in the apprehension of the perpetrators. They will also aid in gathering intelligence information and in conducting investigations to get to the bottom of this unfortunate incident,” Lorenzana said.

“We are closely monitoring the situation. While nobody has come up to own the act we can only assume that this was perpetrated by the terrorist group Abu Sayaff that has suffered heavy casualties in Jolo in the past weeks,” he added.

Lorenzana said the entire DND laments this unfortunate incident and extends its sympathy to those who were killed in the blast, and prays for those injured.

“We appeal to our citizens to remain calm but be alert and vigilant, and cooperate with our security forces,” he added.

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RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

Police pursue 'persons of interest' in Davao blast: Sara Duterte ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 03 2016 06:55 PM | Updated as of Sep 03 2016 08:06 PM


DAVAO MAYOR SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO

MANILA - Police are investigating several "persons of interest" over their alleged involvement in an explosion in Davao City that left 14 people killed and scores others wounded, Mayor Sara Duterte said Saturday.

Duterte, however, declined to give additional details and instead urged Davao City residents to cooperate with authorities who are implementing strict security measures.

"They are pursuing leads and they are pursuing persons of interest. They're following it up with investigation," Duterte told ANC.
"The Davao City Police Office and the Task Force Davao will ensure and will do improvements in their security measures to ensure that no other incident will happen," she added.

The extremist group Abu Sayyaf has claimed responsibility for the attack on a popular night market on Friday that claimed 14 lives and left 67 others injured.

The mayor, the eldest daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, led some 500 mourners in a mass at the blast site on Saturday.

"Everybody's sad. I think we are more sad than we are afraid because Davaoeños stand up, whatever it is that we face," the mayor said.

Sara Duterte: We will not be terrorized by night market blast

VIDEO: VOICE OF SARA DUTERTE IN VIDEO INTERVIEW

 
https://youtu.be/F0RC0l4Q99k


PHILSTAR

‘Prepare for Abu reprisals’ By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 5, 2016 - 12:00am 0 62 googleplus0 0


Paramedics prepare to transport the victims of the bomb attack at the Davao City night market. 3 hunted for bombing; Rody warns nation of sacrifices

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – As the government tightens the noose on the Abu Sayyaf, reprisals can be expected from the terrorist group, and the nation must be prepared to make sacrifices, President Duterte warned yesterday.

Authorities said the Abu Sayyaf most likely carried out last Friday’s bomb attack in this city in response to a military offensive launched against the bandits since last week.

Duterte stressed he wanted to end the Abu Sayyaf threat, but warned of consequences.

“I am calling on the nation to prepare for reprisals. There will be sacrifices to be made, but we have to address this problem once and for all,” he said.

Duterte said last Friday’s bomb attack served as the proverbial last straw.

At least 15 people were killed and another 70 were wounded in the explosion. Sixteen of the injured are in critical condition.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte believed the Abu Sayyaf was behind the blast.

TEXT FROM OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

“The Office of the President texted and confirmed that it was an Abu Sayyaf retaliation.

On the part of the city government, we are working on that – that – that it is an Abu Sayyaf retaliation,” the President’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Abu Sayyaf had struck back after suffering heavy casualties on its stronghold in Jolo.

“We have predicted this and warned our troops accordingly but the enemy is also adept at using the democratic space granted by our constitution to move around freely and unimpeded to sow terror,” Lorenzana said in a statement.

Duterte, who was in Davao City at the time of the attack but not near the market where the explosion occurred, told reporters before dawn Saturday that it was an act of terrorism, as he announced extra powers for the military, placing the entire country under a “state of lawlessness.”

READ MORE...

Andanar stressed that since the government is in a war against illegal drugs and terrorism in Sulu and Basilan, the “terrorists will always find a way to retaliate.”


ANDANAR

“It is what they do – to terrorize people. And for us, the citizens, (we have) to ensure that we are not cowed by the terrorists, we continue with what we do because if we stop what we’re doing it would appear that the terrorists won,” Andanar said.

“We are facing a faceless enemy, and the best way is to get our acts together as a government and as one people…so, this is the fight of everyone. This is not just a fight of government. This is the fight of the entire country,” he added.

Persons of interest Downplaying the possibility that illegal drug syndicates are behind the Davao bombing, Andanar said it is only about 15 percent probable.

“We cannot deny the fact that we also have enemies in the drug lords. And we cannot deny that these drug lords are also well funded, and they have their own nefarious interest to protect. So, it’s part of the menu of suspects that we have. But in the scale of one to 100 percent, we’re looking at about 15 percent (that drug personalities) may be responsible for the bombings, about 80 percent could be attributed to terrorists and bandits and only five percent for other groups,” he said.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said investigators are looking into three “persons of interests” – two women and a man -- who might give a clue as to who carried out the bombing attack.

He said witnesses have identified the three who could have left the improvised explosive device or triggered the explosion.

Dela Rosa added the IED was made out of a mortar round, adding that it was specifically made to kill the huge crowd milling at the night market during weekends.

Dela Rosa though refused to give further details but said they are cross-matching the descriptions of the three persons of interest to known terrorists.

One of them could be Manap Mentang, the primary suspect in the Valentine’s Day bombing in Davao City in 2005, who is still at large, he said.

Dela Rosa however did not say if Mentang is an Abu Sayyaf member.

The attack came as security forces were on alert amid an ongoing military offensive against Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, which intensified last week after the militants beheaded a kidnapped villager.

The Abu Sayyaf threatened to launch an unspecified attack after the military said 30 of the gunmen were killed in the weeklong offensive.

The Abu Sayyaf had claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was meant to knock sense into the President’s head when he vowed to crush the militant group.

Duterte became well known for bringing relative peace and order to Davao with hardline security policies, while also brokering deals with local Muslim and communist rebels.

In recent weeks, Duterte pursued peace talks with the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the two main Muslim rebel groups, which each has thousands of armed followers. Their leaders have said they want to broker a lasting peace.

However the Abu Sayyaf, a much smaller and hardline group infamous for kidnapping foreigners to extract ransoms, has rejected Duterte’s peace overtures.

THOUSANDS OF TROOPS DEPLOYED

In response, Duterte deployed thousands of troops onto the small and remote island of Jolo to destroy the bandit group.

Duterte said he was left with no choice.

“You (Abu Sayyaf) started this. I wanted to talk to you but you leave me with no choice,” Duterte said during a meeting with security officials at the Matina Enclaves Residences in Davao City late Saturday.

“There’s no other option. These people are like germs which must be eliminated,” he said.

Duterte stressed his resolve to run down the Abu Sayyaf even if it means calling for outside help.

“If I have to hire the Gurkhas to help us fight the Abu Sayyaf, I am willing to do it,” Duterte said, referring to the elite Nepalese soldiers serving in the British Army.

A state of violence Immediately following last Friday’s bomb attack, Duterte declared a state of lawlessness and violence, calling on the military to help the police in maintaining peace and order in the country.

Duterte, who inspected the scene of the bomb attack at a night market in downtown Davao City, said his declaration did not amount to an imposition of martial law.

He said it would allow troops to be deployed in urban centers to back up the police in setting up checkpoints and increasing patrols.

Andanar said the draft of the proclamation was finalized late Saturday but is yet to be signed by the President.

Andanar stressed that even with the declaration, civil rights are not curtailed.

He said the proclamation simply calls on the military to help the police in enforcing the law and maintaining peace and order in the country.

STATE OF LAWLESSNESS

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the declaration of a state of lawlessness is not a precursor of martial law and does not entail the suspension of civil rights.


SEPT 4 PHILSTAR REPORT:
MANILA, Philippines — Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo on Sunday clarified that the proclamation of a “state of lawlessness” was already planned even before the night market blast in Davao City. “Hindi na-trigger [ng pagsabog sa Davao ang pagdedeklara ng State of Lawlessness]. Actually, nasa planning stage na 'yan,” Panelo said in a radio interview with dzBB. “In fact, nagda-draft na nga kami ng proclamation [para sa State of Lawlessness bago pa ang pagsabog sa Davao],” he added. The chief presidential legal counsel explained there were four factors that prompted Duterte to declare a state of lawless violence which include the anti-illegal drug campaign, criminality, terrorism and the Abu Sayyaf Group. He clarified that this state would be applied nationwide and not in just in Davao City. “'Yung ci-nite kong mga problema ay nationwide din. 'Yung terorismo, hindi lang 'yan nakatutok sa Davao. Ang pagbabantang ginagawa nila ay dito sa Metro Manila, sa lahat ng malalaking siyudad, binabantaan nila na papasabugin tayo. Kaya bakit mo ilo-localized ang pagdedeklara mo [ng state of lawlessness],” Panelo said. “'Yung drug men are all over the land, ganundin ang kriminalidad so talagang dapat nationwide,” he added. In this July 27, 2016 photo, Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo attended the first State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II also said the declaration is only a precautionary measure to allow the President to protect the citizenry.

Aguirre added the DOJ is conducting a parallel investigation to pinpoint the persons who should be charged in the attack.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the proclamation is constitutional.

Macalintal said the Supreme Court in 2006 ruled that “whenever it becomes necessary,” the President may call on the Armed Forces to “prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.”

Andanar said the Cabinet members) have not received further directives from Duterte since the intention to declare a state of lawlessness was announced.

“It is understood that we in the Cabinet, we just move on and work hard…it is apparent that terrorism and terrorist acts will happen and they happen during the most unsuspecting times. So we just really have to be careful,” he said.

LAWMAKERS SUPPORT 'STATE OF LAWLESSNESS'

Lawmakers expressed support for Duterte’s declaration but wanted him to spell out the details of his actions.

Senators wanted Duterte to convene the National Security Council (NSC) and the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to involve lawmakers in addressing the nation’s pressing problems.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said Duterte’s declaration must be respected as he as extensive access to intelligence information.

“Let’s all just help him (Duterte) anyway that’s just a declaration to put notice the Armed Forces and the entire nation that he’ll start using the military to put an end to lawless violence that what it means,” Pimentel said.

He said Congress will continue to have its oversight functions and anyone can report possible abuse.

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said the President should convene the NSC.

“If he (Duterte) is looking for a template in shaping policy, then his expert handling of the NSC provides the best example,” he said.

Recto said the NSC allows for a multi partisan discussion of the issues.

“Everybody wants to help. This is not the time to point fingers but to offer a helping hand,” he said.

Recto said another “productive sounding board” is to convene the LEDAC, which had served three presidents as a forum to discuss cures to the nation’s ills.

The House of Representatives, for its part, issued a resolution condemning the Davao City attack.

Vice President Leni Robredo visited the victims of the blast and went to condole with the families of the 15 fatalities.

Robredo condemned the bomb attack urging the people to unite against terrorism.

“In this difficult time, we must not allow violence and fear to divide our nation. Rather, let us all come together in fighting against the scourge of terrorism,” Robredo said. – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Giovanni Nilles, Paolo Romero, Edu Punay, Delon Porcalla, Mayen Jaymalin, Ben Serrano, Jennifer Rendon, Helen Flores

---------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

De Lima to Rody on 'state of lawlessness': Don’t wag the dog By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 5, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Sen. Leila De Lima said the Friday night attack, which prompted President Duterte to declare a state of lawlessness or lawless violence, must not be used to create a scenario to justify suppressing civil liberties and the political opposition. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines – It was a “war crime,” but the deadly attack on the Davao City night market late Friday should not be used by President Duterte to “wag the dog,” Sen. Leila de Lima warned yesterday.

The attack occurred amid Duterte’s all-out war against the Abu Sayyaf and illegal drugs that has resulted in extrajudicial killings.

The Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility for the bombing as military troops continued its offensives against the bandits, who were still holding kidnap victims. The police and the military said they were still awaiting the results of the investigation into the incident.

De Lima said the Friday night attack, which prompted the President to declare a state of lawlessness or lawless violence, must not be used to create a scenario to justify suppressing civil liberties and the political opposition.

Instead, the senator said Duterte might as well use his declaration to put an end to the summary executions along with terrorism.

De Lima, who is leading a Senate inquiry into the drug-related extrajudicial killings, said Duterte himself cited the summary executions in the past two months and now the terrorist attack in Davao as indications the country was in a state of lawlessness.

“Indeed, the summary executions that have been a regular daily fare in the past two months, at the rate of 36 per day, constitute none other than lawless violence,” she said.

“If this declaration can stop the street killings, together with the terrorist attacks, then so much the better. All killings must stop, whether perpetrated by terrorist groups hiding in the jungle or unknown assailants roaming our streets,” she added.

To fend off criticisms, the President maintains the government does not sanction or tolerate extralegal killings in the course of his war against drugs.

Duterte has also accused De Lima of benefiting from drug money through her driver-bodyguard and alleged lover, Ronnie Dayan, while she was still justice secretary exercising supervision over the New Bilibid Prison.

The senator called out PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa and “a well-known ideologue” of the Duterte administration, whom she did not identify, for apparently raising scenarios that the incident was an act of “narco-terrorism, or worse, as having been funded by the political opposition without any verification or validation.”

Local policemen who swept the blast sites recovered several metal fragments in the area indicating that an improvised explosive device (IED) fashioned from a mortar round was used in the attack.

“We fervently hope that this tendency among some prominent officials and close advisers of the President is an isolated perspective, and does not represent a consensus in Malacañang to use each and every terrorist attack on our people, whether on the civilian population or the military and our security forces, as an opportunity to wag the dog,” she said.

'WAG THE DOG'

De Lima was apparently referring to the 1997 movie “Wag the Dog” starring Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman, where the US president created a war scenario to cover up for a sex scandal.

“This is not the time to use a terrorist attack of a rebel extremist group to loosely and recklessly paint a picture of a conspiracy against the state among drug lords, the terrorists and the legitimate political opposition,” she said.

The government must be clear on who the enemies of the state are and calibrate its response in accordance with the threat to national security that they represent, she said.

According to De Lima, the declaration of state of lawlessness is allowed under the Constitution that simply means the President is authorized to call out the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to help its civilian counterpart, the Philippine National Police (PNP), in suppressing the lawless violence.

The authority does not give either the AFP or PNP additional powers beyond what is allowed under the Constitution, she pointed out.

De Lima asked the people to be vigilant so the government response to the crisis would not result in the restriction of their civil liberties and political rights.

She described the bombing not only a terrorist act, “but a violation of international humanitarian law as a war crime consisting of an attack on a civilian population, specifically if perpetrated by a terrorist rebel group like the Abu Sayyaf.”

“Those responsible for this bombing are not only terrorists, they are also war criminals,” the senator said.


INQUIRER

BATO SAYS ATTACK TIED TO WAR VS ABU SAYYAF: 3 eyed in Davao bombingBy: Allan Nawal, Karlos Manlupig, Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao, Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:00 AM September 5th, 2016


BATO DE LA ROSA

DAVAO CITY—Police investigators fanned out on Sunday in search of three persons of interest in Friday night’s bombing of the Davao City night market that left 14 people dead and 68 wounded.

Two women and a man, described by witnesses to be in his 40s and with medium build, hurriedly left after having a massage session at the market, according to the police.

Witnesses claimed that the man left a backpack under the massage bed, and when workers tried to call his attention to his bag, he did not look back and continued to walk away. A few seconds later, the explosion took place, they said.

A police checkpoint was set up on the road between the airport and downtown, otherwise the city appeared calm. The downtown area, normally bustling on Sundays, appeared deserted.

No visible stepped-up security was in place at the airport terminal building. Residents said checkpoints had been set up along highways leading to and out of the city.

Continuing investigations

Investigators are questioning eight witnesses as well as claims that the Abu Sayyaf is responsible for the carnage, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told reporters.

“We take it at face value, but then again we have to validate,” Dela Rosa said of the claim by a spokesperson of the bandit group that was the object of an intense military operation on Jolo following the ambush-slaying of 15 soldiers last week.

Several Army battalions have been thrown into the Jolo campaign to free at least 16 foreign and five Filipino hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf.

President Duterte, who was in Zamboanga City to condole with the families of the soldiers and visit the wounded before he flew to Davao City on Wednesday night, called off his two-day trip to Brunei beginning Sunday to meet with Cabinet and security officials.

The meeting began late Saturday and ended early Sunday.

READ MORE...


FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD Families, friends and relatives of victims of Friday’s blast at a night market in Davao City offer prayers and flowers at the scene of the bombing, which left 14 people dead and 68 others injured. President Duterte has declared a “state of lawlessness” and placed the city on lockdown following the explosion. JEOFFREY MAITEM/INQUIRER MINDANAO

According to Dela Rosa, the attack on Davao was a diversionary tactic by the Abu Sayyaf to draw the attention of security forces away from the military offensive against them in Sulu and Basilan.

Asked if he also thought the situation was drug-related, he said this had not been established, and added that the closest explanation was the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf.

Mr. Duterte on Saturday declared a “state of lawless violence” to allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines to join police forces in securing the nation against the scourge of drugs and criminality and Abu Sayyaf banditry.

Dela Rosa also said it was possible that other cities could be targeted as well. “They were able to do it here in Davao, why not in other cities?” he said.

As for the three persons of interest, the sketches of the two women and the man were being drawn by artists, he said.

Experts were also working to reconstruct the improvised explosive device that was used in the attack, presumably a mortar round, he said.

Dela Rosa called on the public to remain vigilant and be very alert in their surroundings and immediately report suspicious persons and packages they see.

“We will assure the public that if we could forgo sleep, we will not go to sleep to provide you security,” he said.

He ordered police to maximize their visibility in public places, especially with the reopening of the Roxas night market on Saturday.

Dela Rosa issued the directive to make sure police were not just sitting in patrol cars.

“They should make use of their time well. They must be aggressive and check out suspicious people, so that we would have a better chance of catching [criminals],” he said.

He sought to ease concerns that the President’s declaration of state of lawlessness could curtail human rights.

‘Just relax’

“You can tell human rights advocates, just relax. The intention of the declaration of the state of lawless violence is not designed to impinge on human rights of the people,” he said.

It is not martial law, he stressed. “It just means that the military would increase its presence to quell lawless violence that we observe happening,” he said.

Dela Rosa said the descriptions of the three persons of interest were being matched with those in the police gallery of known terrorists.

Police also found similarities between the explosive device that went off at the night market and the homemade bomb that exploded at Ecoland bus terminal in the city on Valentine’s Day in 2005, killing a 12-year-old boy. That device was made from a mortar round fitted with a remote detonator.

“The explosive is closely similar to the signature IED (improvised explosive device) of Abdul Manap Mentang,” Dela Rosa said on Saturday. It was even possible that Mentang was involved in the latest blast, he added.

Mentang, a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), was the main suspect in the Ecoland attack. He remains at large.

----------------------------

RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

We need to prepare, not panic – Palace BY LLANESCA T. PANTI ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2016 HEADLINES, TODAY'S HEADLINE PHOTOS


Residents of Davao City mourn at a makeshift memorial for the 14 people killed in Friday’s bombing of a busy night market. PHOTO AFP

PUBLIC URGED TO CARRY ON WITH NORMAL LIFE

Malacañang on Sunday urged the public to carry on with normal life despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a “State of Lawless Violence,” but said people should be prepared for acts of terrorism following Friday’s deadly blast in Davao City.

“Let’s continue with our lives. Do not be afraid but be alert. Let’s practice our civic responsibilities as responsible citizens to ensure our country moves forward progressively,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said over state-run radio station DZRB.

Andanar appealed for public help as the government fights “faceless” terrorists, saying “the best way is to get our act together as government and as one people.”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said an executive order formalizing the President’s declaration would be issued today.

But the declaration, he clarified, did not mean people should restrict their activities.

“The only difference is we will be alert. We can do our normal activities everyday. The goal is to keep everyone safe,” Panelo said over radio station DZBB.

Panelo claimed there were terror threats in major cities across the country, including those in Metro Manila, that warranted a nationwide declaration of the State of Lawless Violence.

“There are explosion threats in major cities. Terrorism is not only in Davao. And drug personalities are all over the land … the same with criminality. So this should be nationwide because the problems are nationwide,” Panelo stressed.

Expect curfews

Still, the public should expect a curfew, especially for minors, as well as more checkpoints.

“It’s up to the security forces to implement the curfew. We need curfew to keep the youth safe, so don’t be surprised with additional checkpoints,” Panelo said.

“If need be, the President will use the military to suppress violence in our country,” he added.

The Palace also shrugged off the travel advisories issued by the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia that urged their respective citizens to take safety measures and avoid crowded areas, following the Davao explosion.

“Well, that usually happens, so there’s nothing new about that. It’s their duty to advise their citizens who are traveling to be careful,” Andanar said.

The Davao blast forced President Duterte to cancel his Saturday trip to Brunei. But he will proceed with his trips to Vientiane, Laos for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summits, and a visit to Indonesia.

Duterte ‘angry’

The Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa told reporters in Camp Crame on Sunday that Duterte was angry over the blast, but did not castigate security forces during their meeting in Davao City.

“There was no such mood in our long conversation,” de la Rosa said.

De la Rosa said the bloody incident proved emotionally draining with the loss of over a dozen lives and injuries to scores of others.

“But that doesn’t mean we surrender. There’s a time for them, a time for us. Luck will not be always on their side,” he said in Filipino.

‘Unnecessary’

For Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, an opposition stalwart, the declaration of a State of Lawless Violence was legally unnecessary and alarming because the President can still summon the Armed Forces to suppress lawless violence in any part of the country, cause the installation of police blockages and checkpoints without unwarranted searches, as well as impose limited and reasonable curfew hours, without such declaration.

“This [declaration]unduly alarms the people of the President’s emerging exercise of extraordinary emergency powers like the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and declaration of martial law. Abuses of civil, political and human rights could happen in its implementation,” Lagman said in a statement.

“The nationwide coverage of the declaration projects a grim scenario of countrywide lawlessness, where in fact the overwhelming majority of the areas in the country are peaceful,” Lagman added.


REUTERS

Philippines blames IS-linked Abu Sayyaf for bomb in Duterte's Davao WORLD NEWS | Sat Sep 3, 2016 11:16am EDT Reuters By Neil Jerome Morales

'State of lawlessness' declared after Philippine blast (01:06) EURO NEWS VIDEO
 
https://youtu.be/ThmruuatYsk
Philippines declares 'state of lawlessness' after deadly blast euronews (in English) euronews (in English) Subscribe220,540 Add to Share More 1,072 views 14 4 ShareEmbedEmail https://youtu.be/ThmruuatYsk Start at: 0:54 Published on Sep 3, 2016 President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a ''state of lawlessness'' in the Philippines after a bomb attack in his home city killed at least 14 people. Around 70 others were injured in Friday's blast at a night market in Davao. The Abu Sayyaf militant group has said it was behind the explosion, which took place outside a hotel often frequented by Duterte. Earlier, the president, who was in Davao at the time of the attack but not near the market, visited victims in hospital.

DAVAO, PHILIPPINES - Philippine police blamed Islamic State-linked rebels on Saturday for a bombing that killed 14 people in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown and dealt a blow to the firebrand leader's bloody crackdown on narcotics and militancy.

Investigators said Abu Sayyaf, a southern Philippine group notorious for acts of piracy, kidnappings and beheadings, had claimed responsibility for Friday's night bombing at a Davao street market, although police said they were still trying to authenticate the claim.

The attack rattled the normally peaceful home city of Duterte, who typically spends his weekends there, some 980 kilometers away from the capital Manila. He was in Davao at the time of the bombing but far from the site of the blast outside a hotel where he often holds meetings.

National police chief Ronald Dela Rosa said the bomb was home-made and fragments of mortar were found at the site, where two "persons of interest" had been caught on camera.

The bomb was likely to have been planted by Abu Sayyaf, he said, to divert the military's attention from its operations to flush them out of their strongholds on the islands of Basilan and Jolo.

The military on Tuesday agreed to deploy a further 2,500 troops to carry out Duterte's order to "destroy" Abu Sayyaf.

"From being offensive, they want us to be defensive," Dela Rosa told a news conference late on Saturday.

READ MORE...


Rallyists display placards condemning the bombing at a market in Davao city during a candlelight protest in front of the Catholic church in Quiapo city, metro Manila, Philippines September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco


Duterte canceled what would have been his first overseas visit on Saturday, to Brunei, and declared a nationwide "state of lawlessness" to deal with what he called an extraordinary security situation.

"I must declare a state of lawless violence in this country," Duterte told reporters after visiting the blast site, where he assured the public that martial law had not been imposed.

"I have this duty to protect this country," he said.

POWERFUL ENEMIES

Police and military promised to act in accordance with his "state of lawlessness", although there was some confusion about what that actually entailed. Duterte's office said it referred to a constitutional clause that states the president has full power over the armed forces.

The bombing came as the abrasive former prosecutor wages war on narcotics kingpins and street dealers, Islamist rebels and corrupt bureaucrats, scoring big points in opinion polls but at a risk of making powerful enemies.

Rumors have swirled of a plot to assassinate Duterte, 71, which he has shrugged off as part of his job. The talk has been fueled by his controversial crackdown on drugs that saw him elected by a huge margin, but condemned by human rights groups and the United Nations.

More than 2,000 alleged drug pushers and users have been killed since Duterte's June 30 inauguration. Critics are alarmed at the sheer number whose deaths have been attributed to vigilantes, and the president and police chief's apparent support for it.


ABU SAYYAF OF THE PHILIPPINES T3RORISTS GROUP

Duterte's tough stance on crime has ensured Davao has been spared the kind of violence that has dogged other parts of Mindanao, a large island province where several Islamist militant groups operate, including Abu Sayyaf.

Abu Sayyaf, which means "bearer of the sword", has previously used an Islamic State flag in some of its propaganda videos and runs what is among Asia's most lucrative kidnap rackets.

It has this year decapitated two Canadian hostages and held Norwegian, Indonesian, Malaysian and Japanese citizens.

The group has long been a thorn in the side for the military and has used its ransom earnings to entrench its network and invest in modern weapons, boats and radar technology.

The White House offered condolences and assistance to the Philippines, a key regional ally. Duterte is expected to meet U.S. President Barack Obama in Laos next week, when he attends a the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia Summits.

(Additional reporting by Manuel Mogato and Enrico Dela Cruz; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Gareth Jones and Greg Mahlich)


ABS-CBN

Abu Sayyaf has claimed responsibility for the Davao blast, warns of more attacks
RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 03 2016 08:21 AM | Updated as of Sep 03 2016 08:54 AM


Police investigators inspect the area of a market where an explosion happened in Davao City. Lean Daval Jr., Reuters

ZAMBOANGA CITY (1st UPDATE) - The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has claimed responsibility for the blast in Davao City which left 14 dead and more than 60 wounded on Friday evening.

ASG spokesperson Abu Rami said the Davao attack is a "call for unity to all mujahideen in the country" amid the all-out offensive of the military against the group.

Rami said that the attack in Davao City is not part of a tactic to divert the attention of government forces who have been pursuing the bandits in Sulu and Basilan.

He warned that similar attacks should be expected in the coming days.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this week ordered intensified operations to finish off the 400-strong terror group, following the death of 15 soldiers in a clash in Patikul, Sulu.

After the explosion in Davao, Duterte also declared a "state of lawlessness," where he will "invite uniformed personnel to run the country."

Duterte declares 'state of lawlessness'

The military and the Philippine National Police earlier dismissed circulating text messages about an imminent attack.


INQUIRER

Abu Sayyaf disowns Davao explosion, says ally was behind attack By: Allan Nawal, Julie Alipala, Karlos Manlupig @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao 01:46 PM September 3rd, 2016



ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Abu Sayyaf on Saturday denied it was behind Friday night’s explosion that killed 14 people and wounded 67 others (official figure as of 6 a.m. Saturday) at the night market on Roxas Ave. here.

But Muammar Askali alias Abu Ramie, the self-styled spokesperson of the Al Harakatul Al Islamiya, the Abu Sayyaf’s official name, pointed to an ally as that behind the deadly explosion.

In a phone call to the Inquirer, Askali identified the group behind the blast as Daulat Ul Islamiya.

“They are doing this to sympathize (with) our group and we are sending a message to President Rodrigo Duterte that all the Daulat throughout the country is not afraid of him,” Askali said.

READ: Abu Sayyaf claims responsibility for Davao blast–Sueno

He said the bomb attack was only the start of similar attacks as the military continues to put pressure on his group in Sulu.

“We can hardly call people, but we can still inflict damage to the soldiers,” Askali said, describing how tight their situation in Sulu was.

About 9,000 troops were now in Sulu pursuing the bandit group. Since August 26, 15 soldiers had died and 30 bandits had been killed.

READ MORE...

Askali said the bomb attacks would only stop “if Duterte will make our hadith his laws and he will seek conversion to Islam.”

The hadith is described as a collection of traditions containing sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, with accounts of his daily practice. Sunni Muslims use this to emulate the Prophet’s practice.

But Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, the Southern Mindanao police director who now supervises the investigation of the blast, said what they were looking into now was the possible participation of “disgruntled vendors” in the city but they were also considering other possible groups as suspects.

“There were some disgruntled vendors in the awarding of stalls at the night market. This is one of the motives that we are looking into,” he said.

READ: Davao explosion: What we know so far

Gaerlan said any group can claim responsibility over the explosion but that is normal.

“They can use it to boost their popularity but as I said, we are still investigating,” he said.

Gaerlan also said the police were still not confirming that what exploded was indeed a bomb.

“We are still collecting more pieces of evidence,” he added.

Chief Insp. Andrea dela Cerna, the Southern Mindanao police spokesperson, said metal fragments had been recovered from dead and wounded victims but it was not clear if what went off was an improvised explosive device.

She said this was being determined by the Special Investigation Task Group formed in the aftermath of the blast.

Gaerlan also said the police have custody now of CCTV footage from several establishments around Roxas Ave. and these were being reviewed.

Gaerlan also declined to comment on reports that at least two suspects were now under police custody.

“The technical aspect of the investigation, we are still not ready to divulge it but we hope we can pursue the suspects,” Gaerlan added. CDG


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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