Philippines: National Police Chief says no letup in drug war — blast may be part of narco-terror — Abu Sayyaf Group denied it was behind the explosion — Police have shared no evidence with the news media or the public

 
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Philippines — PNP Director-General Ronald Dela Rosa speaks at a Senate hearing investigating drug-related killings in metro Manila, Philippines on August 22, 2016.
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There would be no letup in the government’s war against illegal drugs despite the deadly Friday night explosion in Davao City, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Saturday.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said the blast could be related to “narco-terrorism.”

“That would not prevent us from entertaining the thought na baka mamaya part of narco-terrorism na rin ito. Baka gusto nila mag-ease up ’yung ating efforts against drugs, ma-shift ’yung ating attention,” Dela Rosa said in a televised press briefing in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

“Baka iniisip nila na because of the blast hindi na natin papansinin masyado yung problema sa drugs. Still no letup sa antidrug (campaign),” he said.The PNP chief said “police intelligence and investigation units are conducting an assessment of circumstances surrounding the incident.”
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The Department of National Defense earlier said the bandit group Abu Sayyaf may be behind the explosion.“While nobody has come up to own the act we can only assume that this was perpetrated by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf that has suffered heavy casualties in Jolo in the past weeks,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

The Abu Sayyaf Group earlier denied it was behind the explosion.

ASG spokesperson Muammar Askali alias Abu Ramie pointed to an administration ally as being behind the deadly blast.

“They are doing this to sympathize (with) our group and we are sending a message to President Rodrigo Duterte that all the Daulat throughout the country is not afraid of him,” Askali said.

Dela Rosa, however, said that even as some ASG members claimed the bombing, the PNP did not take it at “face value.”

“Even though may umamin na nga from their [ASG] members sa Zamboanga, we do not take that as face value. Kino-confirm parin natin ang claim nila. We have many ways of validating it,” he said.

“We have been bringing the war to them.  Andun po ang ating mga tropa, marami nang mga sundalo doon. Kaya, ang ginawa nila ay para ma-divert ang attention at ma-ease up ang tension sa Sulu,” he added.

The Davao City blast came days after Duterte ordered state forces to finish the Abu Sayyaf.

“Kill them, destroy them,” the President has said.

He said the government had all the resources to annihilate the terrorist group.

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Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/812518/no-letup-in-drug-war-blast-may-be-part-of-narco-terror-dela-rosa#ixzz4JCREcSXJ
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