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PNP backs Martial Law declaration in Sulu

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has supported the military’s recommendation to declare Martial Law in Sulu following the twin bombings that left 16 dead and scores injured.

Military personnel stretcher away some of the victims after an improvised bomb exploded next to a military vehicle in the town of Jolo on Sulu island on August 24, 2020. (Photo by Nickee BUTLANGAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa said the implementation of the Martial Law would expedite the pursuit operations against those involved and also cripple their operational capability, especially in launching another attack.

“This will allow the military and police more operational flexibility to carry out law enforcement operations against domestic threat groups in the area,” said Gamboa.

The military, through Army chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana who used to head the Western Mindanao Command, said on Tuesday that he would recommend to the President the declaration of the Martial Law.

The entire Mindanao that includes Sulu, had been under Martial Law for more than a year since the start of the Marawi siege in May 2017. The Jolo Cathedaral bombing and the twin bombings in a military camp in Indanan town occurred while Mindanao was under Martial Law. It was lifted in December last year.

Gamboa on Tuesday vowed to mobilize all the resources of the PNP in Sulu and nearby areas to hunt down the perpetrators of the bombing wherein a police commando was killed, while six other cops were injured.

Gamboa said he also mobilized the Philippine Bomb Data Center (PBDC) and Crime Laboratory for technical support to ongoing investigation of the deadly explosions in Jolo.

“The PBDC analysts will seek to determine any specific bomb signature of the explosives that were detonated based on reconstruction of forensic evidence gathered by Crime Laboratory and other security forces that responded to the incident,” said Gamboa.

“Any specific bomb signature that will be determined from the technical analysis will be compared with known bomb signatures from previous incidents that are stored in the PBDC database to possibly identify the person or group to whom the bomb signature can be associated with,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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