CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Authorities must speed up its investigation to identify and track down those responsible for the twin bombings in Jolo, Sulu on Sunday morning that left 27 dead and dozens wounded, before they can stage another attack, Vice Pres. Leni Robredo said.

Speaking to reporters while waiting for her flight back to Manila at the Laguindingan airport in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, Robredo said it is important that the culprits be identified and arrested right away.

“What happened in Jolo is sad. We hope it won’t happen again. It is imperative that the perpetrators be identified and the victims are given justice. Otherwise, it will only embolden others to do the same attack,” she said in vernacular.

The two bombings happened just a few days after the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the core territories of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

But ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, in a separate interview at the Laguindingan airport before he departed for Manila Sunday afternoon, said the attack was not related to the BOL.

“I can’t see the connection. First of all, the Abu Sayyaf or the IS have not manifested their stand on BOL whether they are for or against it,” Hataman said, but added that from the looks of it, only the Abu Sayyaf has the means and the capability to carry out such attack.

“Most likely, this is related to them (Abu Sayyaf),” the governor said, referring to the bombings.

For her part, House Speaker Gloria Arroyo has urged the people of Jolo not to be dejected in spite of what happened.

“Please don’t lose heart. I’m sure the government will do everything to make things right,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo was also at the Laguindingan airport Sunday afternoon to discuss with Civil Aviation Administration of the Philippines (CAAP) officials for the possible expansion and upgrade of the airport’s facilities. (

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