MANILA The tragic incident in Basilan serves as a reminder that "the road to lasting and sustainable peace is fraught with threats and dangers", Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said.
The challenges are indeed still there, but nothing will move us from our unwavering stand to follow and complete the peace process, Dureza said in a statement on Wednesday.
The incident, which Dureza said was perpetrated by suspected terrorists, came in the heels of the successful and signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
The BOL is a landmark piece of legislation that is intended to bring peace to Mindanao and make armed elements irrelevant in the region, Dureza said.
Dureza urged the Filipino people to unite and keep on supporting the government's efforts to bring peace and development, particularly in the Mindanao region.
Let us not allow incidents like this to divide us. Instead, let us work all the harder in order to achieve the peace for which we have worked hard for so long, he said.
Last Tuesday, an improvised explosive device exploded on a van at a security checkpoint in Lamitan, Basilan, leaving 10 people dead - including a soldier and five members of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit or Cafgu.
In a separate press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Basilan attack once again highlights the need for greater vigilance on the part of the government and of the general public.
Roque said the Cabinet security cluster has yet to formally meet but by practice, the cluster meets on its own accord informally.
Last Wednesday, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go said the Basilan attack is one of the topics to be discussed in a command conference set to be held on Tuesday next week.
Go said President Rodrigo R. Duterte has expressed concern following the Lamitan bombing attack.
He said government assistance will be immediately given to the families of the victims.
Source: Philippine News Agency