Palace: PH safe, no spillover of violence after Mindanao blasts

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2019 04:00 PM

Soldiers secure the area outside a church after a bomb attack in Jolo, Sulu province, Philippines Jan. 27, 2019. Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command/Handout via Reuters

MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday said the Philippines remains a safe place despite the spate of bombings in Mindanao as it assured the public that there would be no spillover of violence to other parts of the country. 

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also dismissed the possibility of expanding martial law to other parts of the Philippines after attackers pulled off bombings in Mindanao, which has been under military rule since the Marawi siege erupted in May 2017. 

“We would like to assure the general public that they can go about their normal activities. Our country is still a safe haven,” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing. 

“There’s no necessity for any expansion of martial law, as the president has repeatedly declared.”

On Tuesday, Panelo said some terror attacks were inevitable but added that authorities would take steps to prevent similar incidents from happening. 

In his latest press briefing, Panelo said he was also confident that the spate of bombings in Mindanao will not affect the voter turnout for the second part of the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law on Feb. 6.

The first plebiscite, held on Jan. 21, had led to the ratification of the measure that would establish a Bangsamoro region with greater self-governing powers. 

In the next plebiscite, towns in Lanao del Norte and villages in North Cotabato will vote on whether or not to join the new Bangsamoro region.

Twin blasts claimed by Islamic State jihadists struck a Catholic church on Jolo Island last Sunday, killing 21 people and wounding 100 others. On Wednesday, a grenade exploded inside a mosque in Zamboanga City killing 2 people.

Authorities earlier appealed for calm in the wake of the blasts as they called for public vigilance on suspicious activities or individuals.