MANILA - Authorities suspect the Abu Sayyaf Group masterminded the recent Sulu bombing that left 8 people dead, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Saturday.
Three soldiers, 3 civilians and 2 suspected bombers were killed after an improvised explosive device was detonated at the gate of a military camp in Indanan town, Friday afternoon.
"Authorities are eyeing the bandit Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) behind this dastardly attack," Panelo said in a statement.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the explosion that occurred in a military base in Sulu, which killed and wounded scores of people," he said.
Panelo said the government is working to "destroy" the terrorists and their supporters "to secure lasting peace in the region."
"We will pursue them and all other terrorist groups that sow and instill fear among our people. We will run after them until they can run no more," he said.
"If these bandits have not learned from the terrorists who were annihilated in Marawi, then this time they will," he said, referring to the month-long siege in the Islamic City in 2017.
Military units in Western Mindanao were placed on red alert, the highest alert status signaling an imminent threat, shortly after the blast, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Major Arvin Encinas earlier said.
Metro Manila police were also ordered to standby for any possible deployment as a "proactive" measure after the Sulu incident.