No link so far between Mindanao church, mosque blasts - Defense chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 30 2019 03:28 PM | Updated as of Jan 30 2019 04:29 PM

Bombing at Jolo Cathedral. Courtesy of AFP Wesmincom

MANILA - There is no link so far between the deadly bomb attacks that rocked a church and a mosque in southwestern Mindanao 3 days apart, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday. 

Twenty-one people were killed while some 100 were injured when 2 pipe bombs went off at a Jolo cathedral in Sulu province during a mass on Sunday. 

Past 12 a.m. Wednesday, a grenade lobbed inside a mosque in Zamboanga City left 2 dead and 4 wounded. Many of the victims were Muslim preachers who had been sleeping. 

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"We're still looking at it pero wala naman kaming makitang koneksyon e (but we can't see a connection)," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo. 

"Even in the past noong binobomba ang mga churches atin sa Davao, Cotabato, GenSan, wala namang naggagantihan...No mosque was bombed in retaliation or whatever immediately after that," he added. 

(Even in the past, when our churches in Davao, Cotabato, GenSan were bombed, there was no trading of attacks.) 

The Islamic State militant group has claimed credit for the Jolo attack that shattered pews and windows and left bodies strewn across the cathedral. 

The military said it was not discounting this angle, but added that the Abu Sayyaf subgroup Ajang-Ajang was a suspect. 

Meanwhile, personal grudge could be the motive for the Zamboanga blast or the attackers could also be "riding on the Jolo incident," said the region's police director, Chief Supt. Emmanuel Licup.