AFP advises public to stay calm but vigilant as blasts rock Jolo

News Sourced

Following the two explosions in Jolo, Sulu that left nine people dead and 16 others wounded, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday advised the public to remain calm, vigilant and report any suspicious persons or activities.

This as military and police immediately conducted investigation to determine the details of the twin explosions with the first happened around at 11:53 a.m. along Serrantes Street in Barangay Walled City in Jolo.

“We advise the public to stay calm but be vigilant to monitor and report any suspicious persons or items or unusual activities in the area,” said AFP spokesperson, Marine Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo in a statement Monday.

As of press times, he said troops on the ground are evacuating and providing treatment for the casualties while securing the area.

“The 11th Infantry Division and the Joint Task Force Sulu are on high alert following this incident,” Arevalo added.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, directed the Provincial Regional Office Bangsamoro Autonomous Region under Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu to secure the area and expedite investigation.

Elements of Jolo Municipal Police Station immediately responded to the scene to evacuate the casualties and ensure the safety of other residents for possible secondary device/s.

According to reports, nine people, including four soldiers, were killed in the two successive bomb explosions as the troops are continuously pursuing the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits.

Military and police reports said all the deaths were related to the first explosion.

Police investigation showed that the explosion occurred moments later when an unidentified person parked a bomb-laden motorcycle beside an M35 truck of the Army’s 11th Infantry Division.

The explosion site is the usual place where the troops park their vehicle whenever they go on marketing duties.

The second explosion occurred around 1:06 p.m. just 100 meters away from the site of the first explosion.

Sonny Abing, Sulu provincial information officer, said those hit in the second bomb explosion were the responding soldiers and policemen. PNA.GOV.PH