Duterte kneels, kisses ground of blast site in Jolo

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2020 09:33 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte kisses the ground of the blast site in Jolo, Sulu on Aug. 30, 2020. Handout

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte honored Sunday fallen soldiers and condoled with the families of victims of twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu.

Wearing a cap and a face mask, Duterte knelt and kissed the ground where the explosions took place. He also offered flowers at the blast site and led the candle-lighting ceremony.

The President, in a speech before state troops, said the gesture was for the fallen soldiers and other victims of the attacks whose lives were "snuffed out for no reason at all."

"This unfortunate incident is only one of the countless incidents that proved that we should never be complacent when it comes to terrorism," Duterte told soldiers during his speech.

"The recent bombings that took the lives of several civilians including those of your fellow soldiers will only further strengthen our resolve to crush the lawless elements behind this cowardly act," he added.

Last week's bombings in Jolo took at least 15 lives and left scores wounded. 

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet but the military earlier identified as suspects the Indonesian widow of a 2019 Filipino suicide bomber and the wife of an Abu Sayyaf leader.