Provincial Government’s Initial Statement on the Bombing Incident in Lamitan City
July 31, 2018; 8:30 A.M.

At around five in the morning today, July 31, 2018, an Unidentified Individual believed to be a “Suicide Bomber” was flagged by CAAs at a checkpoint located near Magkawit, Brgy. Maganda, Lamitan City, just a few kilometers away from the city proper. The unidentified individual was en roue to Lamitan City using a dented utility van. It was later found out that the unidentified individual was in possession of an IED inside the van and detonated the explosive device immediately as units of the CAA and CAFGU checked the vehicle for anomalies. The explosion resulted to the death of 1 enlisted personnel, 3 CAAs and 3 civilians.

Had it not for the vigilance and courage of the uniformed personnel manning the checkpoint, the IED could have been delivered to the city proper where it could have victimized a higher number of innocent civilians. The loss of the lives of 4 Government Troops saved the lives of so manny. To such valor and heroism the Provincial Government highly salutes the fallen heroes and deeply sympathizes with their families, to include the families of the innocent civilian victims.

As a matther of policy and principle, the Provincial Government of Basilan strongly condemns the act of barbarism perpetrated just recently. We also assure the general public that the Provincial Government will do all possible means to get down to the bottom of this incident, find those who are involved to bring them to justice, and restore order and peace particularly in the City of Lamitan and the entire Province of Basilan.

let us unite and continue our fight against violent extremism for the good of us all.

JIM S. HATAMAN SALLIMAN

Basilan Provincial Governor