Malacañang condemns Basilan attack

By Azer Parrocha

MANILA — Malacañang condemned the car bomb explosion, which left at least 10 people dead in Lamitan City, Basilan on Tuesday morning.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the latest attack in Basilan perpetrated in violation of our laws,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Roque assured that the government will take legal action against the perpetrators.

“Authorities are now investigating the incident even as we vow to bring the perpetrators of this brazen attack to justice,” he added.

In a Palace briefing, Roque said the attack may be considered a “war crime” because it constitutes an indiscriminate attack which is prohibited by a provision under RA 9851 or the “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity.”

“It’s an indiscriminate attack. It’s a fact that Basilan, of course, is an area with a non-international armed conflict and there’s already a domestic law on international humanitarian law (IHL),” Roque said.

“Under IHL, you must limit your attacks pursuant to military objective, you must limit it to military targets and you must avoid protected individuals, including civilians,” he added.

Roque said authorities are still investigating which groups are possibly behind the attack.

According to reports, 11 people, including a foreign-looking individual suspected to be the suicide bomber, were killed while five others were wounded in the explosion. (PNA)