Senators condemn Basilan blast

MANILASeveral senators on Tuesday expressed their condemnation and concern over the deadly van explosion in Basilan that resulted in the deaths of at least 10 persons.

One soldier, five militiamen, three women, one child and the suspected bomber were among those killed after a passenger van exploded 15 meters away from a checkpoint in Barangay Bulanting, Lamitan City early Tuesday morning.

Senator Risa Hontiveros strongly condemned the incident and expressed her condolences to the families of the victims of the horrifying attack.

I express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for their terrible loss, and wish the injured their full and speedy recovery, she said.

She called on authorities to immediately conduct an investigation and bring to justice all those responsible for this despicable and cowardly act.

The administration must secure the peace in the region. It must see to it that this incident will not derail our efforts to achieve peace and prosperity in the region, especially with the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), she said.

I stand with the people of Mindanao at this critical time. I join them in condemning this kind of violent extremism, Hontiveros said.

In the meantime, Senator Nancy Binay said the bloody Lamitan incident has no place in a civilized society.

I am deeply saddened by the brazen and despicable act of cowardice. I urge the Philippne National Police (PNP) and all law enforcement agencies to dig deep into the bottom of this very saddening incident, and I hope what happened today won't sidetrack our efforts to achieve true peace in Mindanao, she said.

The Filipino people must stand united to fight violence and collectively condemn this cowardly act, Binay added.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said if the incident was indeed the very first case of suicide bombing in the country, the government should immediately act to prevent a series of such terroristic acts from hitting other highly populated urban centers.

The incident should prod the government to step up their intelligence and security capabilities to address this new deadly threat, the former police chief-turned-lawmaker said.

I would say, proactive offense prompted by good intelligence is still our best defense, Lacson said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency