AFP statement on the explosion at Jolo, Sulu

We condemn this dastardly attack on the civilians who were peacefully attending church services at the Jolo Cathedral at about 8:45 in the morning of 27Jan 2019.

A strong explosion, reportedly caused by an IED, killed 12 and wounded 42 innocent church goers as at this report.

Another explosion targeted soldiers from the nearest military unit that immediately rushed to the site supposedly to help the civilian victims. As a result of the said second explosion, Five Army (5) troopers were killed in action and 14 wounded in action.

A personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard was also wounded.

We have been since that time at the thick of attending to and ensuring that the wounded were properly given medical attention while those who perished were properly accounted for and the next of kin informed and assisted.

We are in close coordination with PNP counterparts to aid in the investigation and in the identification of the perpetrators.

“We strongly condemn this treachery and commiserate with the families of the victims, ” said AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal, Jr.

“I strongly commit, with the help of relevant agencies of government, to pursue the criminals with the full force of the law to assure the victims that the perpetrators of this injustice will be prosecuted and punished.

“I call on the people for calm and sobriety as government security forces address this recent attack on the peaceful Joloanos.” General Madrigal Jr. said.