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Gov’t to determine if Jolo bombing linked to BOL: Esperon



National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Sunday said that the government is still trying to determine if the twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu is related to the recently ratified Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

“We have yet to establish if the two explosions are related to the all-important BOL,” Esperon told reporters in a message.

Esperon emphasized that the explosions took place after the plebiscite on the ratification of the law seeking to create a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“I have to add that the explosion comes after the success of the plebiscite for the BOL,” Esperon said.

He, meanwhile, described the suspects as “mass murderers”, stressing that the BOL is meant to end the secessionist narrative.

“The BOL signifies the end of war for secession. It stands for peace in Mindanao,” Esperon said.

“The perpetrators are mass murderers. They are extremist criminals. We will not allow them to spoil the preference of the people for peace,” he added, stressing that peace must prevail over war.

Esperon assured that security forces have tightened up the systems to secure Sulu and the rest of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The bombing, which took place inside and outside a Roman Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu, left at least 20 people dead and several others wounded.

Malacañang earlier condemned the attack and expressed sympathies to the families of the victims.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo vowed of government action to identify and punish the group behind the blast.

Azer Parrocha / PNA