President Benigno Aquino III arrived in Zamboanga City on Sunday, January 25, following a deadly car bombing that claimed two lives and injured at least 48 people on Friday, January 23.
Local media reported that “the President’s visit is to assure the people that the government knows what’s happening and that the government is in charge.”
Aquino also intends to ease the fear of the city residents who are still haunted by the memories of the September 2013 attack by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) loyal to founder Nur Misuari.
During his visit, the president inspected the city jail where members of the al-Qaida-linked terrorist group Abu Sayyaf are detained.
He was accompanied by his aides, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco.
Aquino, who vowed to bring those responsible to justice, conducted a security briefing and an update on the rehabilitation plan for Zamboanga City after the attack.
The car bomb explosion took place at Fantasy Bar fronting the Guiwan Bus Terminal. Most of the victims were passersby and owners or drivers of the vehicles at the parking area.
Mayor Climaco blamed the Abu Sayaff for the car blast. She believed that it was part of their plot to freed 57 detained comrades from the city jail.