Jolo blasts possibly suicide bombers: Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said it is possible suicide bombers from the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group were responsible on the twin blasts that rocked a cathedral in Jolo over the weekend.
Duterte in an ambush interview after a groundbreaking ceremony for the new site of the San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hospital in Malabon said he received an intelligence report around 3am that a couple were behind the blast at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Sunday.
"Blowing the bomb. (It's a) woman while the other one is man, husband. (The woman) went inside," Duterte said.
"There is a possibility and the witnesses said so. They have someone with them. They have support system," he said.
Duterte said there are no security lapses as it is not a norm in the country to bodycheck women.
"I don't think so. There are no lapses there because the other bomber was outside. There was no reason for him to be frisked either he was just passing by... the problem is the woman is wearing a big cross on her chest," Duterte said.
Despite saying there are no oversights, Duterte said they are not "washing their hands" of responsibility.
."We are not washing our hands. Every time that there is death (involving) Filipino by violence... that is a failure in governance to protect the people and we admit those (kind of) lapses," he said.
Duterte said they were sure it is the job of the Abu Sayyaf as "nobody but nobody can perpetuate that kind of terrorism."
The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are giving different statements about the suspects.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said they are not discounting the possibility of suicide bombers after they found two bodies still waiting to be identified.
Duterte said he will be "guided" by what investigators will tell him.
Duterte said they were warned by other countries about a possible bomb threat in Mindanao.
He added that he warned about "more" terror acts after a bombing at the Davao night market in 2016.
Duterte called the Jolo blast "brazen" and ordered the military and police to locate and arrest the criminals involved in the incident. Ella Dionisio/DMS