PNoy: No indicator of recent blasts' link to al Qaeda threat

There was no indicator that the recent deadly bombings in Cagayan de Oro and Cotabato cities were linked to the global al Qaeda threat, President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday.

"Wala tayong indicator na ganun," Aquino told reporters during an ambush interview in Subic, Zambales, where he welcomed the country's second warship, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz.

Interpol has recently issued a global security alert in light of the communications intercepted by US intelligence about new plans for terrorist attacks.

But Aquino said not all bombings should be immediately attributed to terrorism, noting that such activity could also be perpetrated by warring political groups.

"Meron ding potential political angle diyan sa Cotabato, meron ding criminal dun naman sa CDO. So we are exhausting all of these, investigating leads to determine exactly who perpetrated (these)," he said.

Although he did not elaborate, Aquino also noted that there are "sectors" who do not want to pursue the ongoing peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

On Monday, a bomb killed eight people and injured 32 others on a busy street in Cotabato City. It happened several days after a blast outside an establishment in Cagayan de Oro also killed eight.

Meeting

Aquino was set to meet his security cluster at 2 p.m. Tuesday to get more information regarding the two bombing incidents.

"At this point in time, the suspects have been the objects of our concern for a very long time and we’ve been pursuing the same suspects. Hindi pa sigurado that they are the parties responsible for this [but] I’m sure that we will be able to get all of these culprits in due time," he said.

"Talagang terrorists by their nature iilan lang sila tagong-tago pero palagay ko mahahanap rin natin sila in the very near future," Aquino added.

Meanwhile, Aquino said he has yet to receive the request to declare Cotabato under state of emergency.

"Pero titingnan natin kung kakailanganin natin. Baka naman initial reaction 'yun dahil nga kagimbal-gimbal naman ang nangyari dun," he said.

Aquino said this would be among the agenda of his 2 p.m. meeting with the Cabinet security cluster. "The assessment is in the afternoon at 2 o' clock. They will give me the indications of whether or not it is necessary to do so," he said. — KBK, GMA News

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