More than 10 people killed and 60 others were injured in an explosion at a night market in Roxas Avenue, Davao City, around 9:50 p.m., Friday, September 2, officials reported.
The cause of the said explosion is currently unknown, and still officials had no information behind the blast.
Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson said that at least 60 people were injured, and has risen to 67, 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
The victims were rushed to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Limso Hospital, Davao Doctors Hospital, and Brokenshire Hospital, Sun Star reports.
Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte had immediately announced a statement;
“Let us pray for the victims of this unfortunate incident, especially for those who died. Let us pray for those who are being treated in different hospitals and pray for their quick recovery. There are at least 10 people who perished because of the incident and a number were reported wounded,”
“Rest assured the authorities are on top of this incident. Right now, we cannot yet give definite answer to as to who is behind this as we are also trying to determine what really exploded. It’s a sad day for Davao and for the Philippines,” the vice mayor added.
Upon conducting information on the cause of the blast where some residents in the area said that a bomb exploded, Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao Director Manuel Gaerlan said they are executing thorough investigation on the explosion. The police were looking on possibility that a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) caused the blast.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the incident could have been perpetrated by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
“While nobody has come up to own the act, we can only assume that this was perpetrated by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf that has suffered heavy casualties in Jolo in the past weeks,” said Lorenzana.
“We have predicted this and has warned our troops accordingly but the enemy is also adept at using the democratic space granted by our constitution to move around freely and unimpeded to sow terror,” said Lorenzana.
In fact, the defense and military establishment had warned earlier against possible diversionary attacks by the Abu Sayyaf Group in major cities as the terrorists felt pressured by the ongoing military operations.
“I have directed all commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be on high alert especially in urban centers for possible other terroristic act attempts by this group,” said Lorenzana.
Lorenzana had aslo directed the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City assisting the PNP in maintaining peace and order in Davao City against the perpetrators.
“They will also aid in gathering intelligence information and in conducting investigations to get to the bottom of this unfortunate incident,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a “state of lawlessness” in the aftermath of the blast in his hometown Davao City.
“The AFP is prepared to undertake any task that will be issued in regard to the declaration of state of lawlessness by the Commander in Chief President Rodrigo Duterte,” the Armed Forces said in a statement.
The military called the bombing “an unfortunate incident” as they express condolences to the families of the victims.
“The focus of the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command that has Davao City under its area of responsibility is on helping the local police restore normalcy and secure the area and in assisting medical responders to attend to the victims,” it said.
“The reports about the explosion is still sketchy. We call for sobriety and for the people to stay calm and refrain from any speculations so as not to exacerbate the situation,” the AFP added.