MANILA, Sept. 3 (UPI) — Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared “a state of lawlessness” following an explosion that killed 14 people in Davao City.
Jesus Dureza, Duterte’s adviser on the peace process, later clarified the meaning.
“State of lawlessness merely calls out the military or the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to do law enforcement operations normally done only by the PNP (Philippine National Police). Precisely to suppress the lawless violence. It does not suspend some rights,” he said on FacebookSaturday.
Militant group Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ten of the 14 killed in Friday’s blast died instantly, according to Chief Insp. Andrea dela Cerna, Davao Police Regional Office spokesperson. Four others died at nearby hospitals.
Southern Philippines Medical Center director Dr. Leopoldo Vega said 15 people are still listed in critical condition, noting that most of the injuries were caused by shrapnel.
Officials believe Abu Sayyaf orchestrated the attack in retaliation for the Philippine government’s military offensive against the group in Jolo, the group’s island stronghold in the far south of the Philippines.
Philippine National Police Chief Director, General Ronald dela Rosa said the PNP has three suspects in the incident.