Palace says attempt to sow violence to fail
Malacanang said any attempt to sow fear and violence would fail as President Rodrigo Duterte pushed with his trip to Cotabato City on Monday despite explosions in the area on Sunday.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo condemned in "strongest possible term" the grenade throwing incident in Cotabato City, where at least 16, including government troopers were injured and an explosion in Libungan, North Cotabato.
"Any attempt to sow fear, hatred and violence is doomed to fail. We will pursue the perpetrators and will harness all our might to crush all evil forces or enemies of the state, as well as their supporters," he said.
Duterte flew to Cotabato City Monday despite the grenade throwing incident.
He led the distribution of the certificates of land ownership award to the agrarian reform beneficiaries in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
In his speech, Duterte urged BARMM government to assert its authority against the terrorists.
"You know you have to kill the terrorists...they are the guys that will create trouble in the future. It's never ending," he said as he warned that if the government would not immediately address terrorism, Mindanao might end up like Syria.
Panelo, during the press briefing earlier in the day, expressed belief that the attack in Cotabato City was not directed towards Duterte.
He called on everyone to stay calm and remain vigilant and report suspicious personalities and unattended items. Celerina Monte/DMS