Shrapnel wounds of the people caught up in the blast suggest a militarised source for the bomb. Duterte hoped he had made peace with Abu Sayyap. He had earlier abandoned the Bansamoro Basic Law Moslem independence deal in Mindanao, proposed by Noynoy the previous President and he is also killing off the drugs income of terrorist groups. A response from the terror groups is hardly surprising, and Davao the most likely target. It was 100 metres from the Marco Polo Hotel, a regular calling place for the President.
How will he react? Will he send the Philippines army to deal with the terrorists or deploy other forms of suppression? He is not likely to cave in to terror, given his former approach and policies. Duterte is being tested by the Satanic cult that doesn’t approve of his approach to suppressing crime and terrorists. His political opponents are desperate to turn the people against him. This method is unlikely to work. It could even make him stronger as Filipinos close ranks behind him.
Sydney Morning Herald
Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said early on Saturday the bombing was suspected to be in retaliation to an intensified military operation against the Abu Sayyaf, adding that the military has been put on high alert “especially in urban centres for possible other terrorist acts by this group.”
“We have predicted this and have 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,” Mr Lorenzana told reporters.
Mr Duterte last week ordered the military to use “full force” to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf after the group rejected a call to lay down their arms.
“Go out and destroy them. Kill whoever they are,” he said.
More than two dozen Abu Sayyaf are believed to have been killed in battles in the past week.
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Duterte won’t cancel his three nation trip to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia