The United Nations Security Council condemned the bomb attack on a Catholic Church in Jolo, Sulu
Sunday, calling it a “heinous and cowardly terrorist attack.”
READ: Jolo blasts: 20 dead, 81 hurt
The members of the Security Council also reaffirmed that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.”
The Security Council said “any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” and said that all states must combat threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
READ: Pope Francis, world leaders condemn attacks
The Chinese, Russian, and French governments renewed their commitment to support and step up engagement with the Philippines in fighting violent extremism and terrorism following the deadly blasts in Jolo.
China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Beijing condemns the violent attacks in Sulu province and condoles with the bereaved families of those killed.
“China opposes all forms of terrorism and stands ready to work with the international community including the Philippines to jointly combat threats and challenges posed by terrorism and safeguard international and regional peace and stability,” he said in a press conference in Beijing Monday night.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telegram sent to President Rodrigo R. Duterte, stated Russia’s “readiness to further step up interaction” with Philippine partners in combating terrorist threat in all its forms and manifestations.
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“A crime committed against civilians who had congregated for church services is shocking in its cynicism and cruelty. I expect that the masterminds and perpetrators of this crime will sustain the punishment they deserve,” he said.
“People in Russia share the grief of the victims’ friends and families and hope for a prompt recovery of the injured,” he added.
In a statement Tuesday, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said it is one with the Philippines in its fight against terrorism.
“France utterly condemns the attack against the cathedral in Jolo Island last Jan. 27, for which Daesh has claimed responsibility and which killed some 20 people and injured around 100 others, according to the information available,” its statement reads.
“France extends its condolences to the victims’ families, as well as to the Filipino people. It stands alongside the Philippines in the fight against terrorism,” it added.
The Japanese Embassy in Manila on Tuesday also offered condolences to the victims of the explosions.
“Such terrorist attacks shall never be tolerated. Japan firmly condemns this terrorist act in the strongest terms,” Ambassador to Manila Koji Haneda said as he expressed solidarity with the Philippine government.
He reiterated Tokyo’s support to the peace process in Mindanao and the recently ratified Bangsamoro Organic Law.
“Japan will continue to support the Philippines in achieving sustainable peace and stability in Mindanao in accordance with the ongoing political transition process under the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” he said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross denounced the bomb attack as well.
“We are deeply concerned by the number of civilians being injured or killed as a result of deliberate attacks. We deplore any violence committed against civilians,” said Martin Thalmann, head of the ICRC delegation in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said it was the prerogative of other countries to warn their citizens from traveling to areas they deem unsafe.
Lorenzana was reacting to a travel advisory by the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office against all travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups.
It also advised against all kinds of travel, except for essential ones, to the remainder of Mindanao (excluding Camiguin, Dinagat and Siargao Islands) and to the south of Cebu province, up to and including the municipalities of Dalaguete and Badian, due to the threat of terrorism.
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The Bureau of Immigration was placed on heightened alert nationwide to thwart the possible entry of foreign terrorists in the wake of the bomb attack in Jolo, Sulu.
“I have instructed our Port Operations Division to alert all its personnel and be on the lookout for suspected foreign terrorists who might attempt to enter the country,” Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.
He said immigration officers assigned at the ports have been instructed to be doubly vigilant in screening arriving foreign travelers and to make sure that they have legitimate purposes in entering the country.
He added that “those who cannot satisfactorily explain their purpose in coming here are to be turned back and booked on the first available flight to their port of origin.” With PNA