Antonino says Davao City blasts meant ‘to sow fear’

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/17 September)–The twin blasts Monday night inside two of the biggest shopping malls in Davao City were meant “to sow fear,” Sec. Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority, said Tuesday.

“We condemn these most recent acts of sowing fear and trepidation among the peace-loving populace of Davao City,” she said in a statement.

Two explosions simultaneously rocked SM City Davao’s Cinema 1 and Gaisano mall’s Cinema 5 past 9 p.m. Monday, leaving five persons slightly injured.

It happened as the crisis in Zamboanga City was on Day Eight.

Armed members of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) loyal to founding chair Nur Misuari laid siege to some coastal barangays in Zambonga Monday last week.

At least 82,000 individuals have been displaced due to the clashes between government troops and MNLF members, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Tuesday.

The council also reported the death toll reached 87—six from the military, three from the police, seven civilians and 71 from the MNLF.

Antonino said it is too early to point possible connection between the Davao City explosions Monday night and the ongoing situation in Zamboanga City as authorities are still assessing pieces of evidence.

“Make no mistake about it: the attempts to inflict injury and misery on hapless civilians cannot and will not succeed in instilling fear and weaken the peace-loving populace. On the contrary, these incidents will all the more strengthen the resolve of all Mindanawons to overcome the evil designs of those behind these cowardly acts,” she said.

Antonino urged the public to remain vigilant, saying that government security forces are now exerting efforts to track down those responsible for the twin explosions.

“We also appeal to everyone to remain calm and refrain from sensationalizing the situation, as the government works to bring the situation back to normal,” she added. (MindaNews)