Sulu - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Sulu

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Military taps sardine fishing crews as 'reserve force' in Sulu Sea

Sep 19, 2019 - 2:15 PM

Crews of two major canned sardine companies have been armed and trained as 'special CAFGU' to guard the waters off the Zamboanga Peninsula, says the military

RESERVE FORCE. The military has enlisted the fishing crews of some big sardine companies as a paramilitary force to help guard against security threats in the Sulu Sea. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Abu Sayyaf terrorist killed in Sulu clash was planning suicide attack – military

Sep 12, 2019 - 10:39 PM

The military says Nanz Sawadjaan, nephew of ISIS' leader in the Philippines, would have become a suicide bomber if he had not been killed in a raid on Tuesday, September 10

FOCUSED OPERATIONS. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has launched a series of operations targeting the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Female ‘suicide bomber’ in Sulu blast was from Abu Sayyaf – military

Sep 09, 2019 - 6:47 PM

The chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command says terror groups in Mindanao could be weakening, while an analyst says they are evolving and could launch devastating attacks in the future

LESSONS LEARNED. Philippine Army soldiers survived a terror attack in Indanan, Sulu on Sunday, September 8, because of tactics drawn from past deadly bombings. File photo of soldiers in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao Province. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Suspected suicide bomber attacks Sulu military camp

Sep 08, 2019 - 10:00 PM

(UPDATED) Joint Task Force Sulu commander Major General Corleto Vinluan Jr blames the Abu Sayyaf Group for the bombing

Lorenzana lauds Duterte’s warning to foreign vessels trespassing PH waters

Aug 21, 2019 - 10:00 AM

The defense chief says the license to get compliance from unauthorized vessels even through an ‘unfriendly manner’ gives security forces authority to enforce the law

DEFENSE CHIEF. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on the sidelines of the Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Command Conference at the Malacañan Palace on June 18, 2019. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Lorenzana: 7 ‘foreign terrorists’ may be in Jolo

Jul 25, 2019 - 7:17 PM

The country's defense chief confirms an earlier report that the suspects may be training suicide bombers for an ISIS-linked faction of the Abu Sayyaf

FOREIGN TERRORISTS. The war-torn city of Marawi was an example of the impact of foreign terror groups' influence on local extremists. Photos by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

AFP confirms report: Indonesian couple behind Jolo Cathedral bombing

Jul 24, 2019 - 3:26 PM

ISIS terrorists looking to carve out a territory in Southeast Asia present a challenge to the region's security forces, especially in the Philippines

JOLO ATTACK. Policemen and soldiers stand outside bomb-hit church in Jolo, Sulu province on the southern island of Mindanao, on January 27, 2019. - At least 18 people were killed when two bombs hit a church on a southern Philippine island that is a stronghold of Islamist militants, the military said on January 27, days after voters backed the creation of a new Muslim autonomous region. (Photo by NICKEE BUTLANGAN / AFP)

AFP reports 7 'foreign terrorists' in Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao

Jul 23, 2019 - 4:18 PM

The commander of the Armed Forces in Western Mindanao says the 7 suspects are grooming suicide bombers among local extremist groups

AT LARGE. This image from the main battle area of the 2017 siege of Marawi City is a grim reminder of the lingering terrorist presence in the Philippines. Rappler photo

After Sulu bombings, House working with intel units for SONA 2019 security

Jul 11, 2019 - 6:05 PM

House Sergeant at Arms Romeo Prestoza says they have yet to detect any 'substantial' security threats for SONA 2019

SONA PREPS. House acting secretary-general Roberto Maling and sergeant-at-arms Romeo Prestoza hold a press conference on July 11, 2019. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

AFP, PNP: Filipino suicide bomber behind Sulu attack

Jul 10, 2019 - 5:35 PM

This is the first officially confirmed case of a suicide bombing in the Philippines perpetrated by a Filipino, and marks an escalation in terror tactics by local extremists

SUICIDE BOMBER. On July 10, 2019, the AFP and PNP announced that Norman Lasuca, a Filipino, was one of the suicide bombers behind the twin blasts in Indanan, Sulu on June 28, 2019, which killed at least 7 people. Photo from AFP WESTMINCOM

Davao City eyes transparent garbage bins to avoid terror attack

Jul 06, 2019 - 4:41 PM

Task Force Davao commander Colonel Consolito Yecla says there will also be a 'No Jacket Policy' when approaching inspection areas during the Kadayawan festival

SAFETY PRECAUTION. Davao City is eyeing the use of transaprent garbage bins as a security measure following the suicide terror attacks in Sulu. Image from Shutterstock

Suicide attacks emerge in Philippines under ISIS influence

Jul 02, 2019 - 7:29 PM

Security analysts say the apparent suicide bombings in the country over the past 12 months are a worrying escalation of militancy driven by the influence of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia

RUBBLE. A bombed-out mosque stands in what was the main battle area in Marawi City. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

AFP: 'High possibility' Sulu blasts were suicide attacks

Jul 02, 2019 - 4:54 PM

(UPDATED) Investigators have also yet to determine whether any of the attackers were Filipino

STILL HESITANT. AFP Spokeperson BGEN. Edgar Arevalo at a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo on Thursday, November 29, 2018, on issues of Mandatory ROTC and Martial Law extension. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Suicide bombing? Attack on Sulu military camp similar to Jolo Cathedral blast

Jun 29, 2019 - 3:24 PM

The military identifies Abu Sayyaf Group leader Hatib Sawadjaan as the mastermind of the attacks. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

BLAST SITE. Twin bombings hit a military camp in Indanan, Sulu, on June 28, 2019. Sourced photo

ISIS claims suicide attack on Sulu military camp

Jun 29, 2019 - 11:30 AM

(UPDATED) ISIS claimed the bombing was the work of two suicide attackers, according to Rita Katz, the director of SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist activities worldwide

SUICIDE BOMBERS? ISIS has claimed responsibility for the twin bombings on a military camp in Sulu, supposedly carried out by these two local affiliates. Screengrab from Twitter page of Rita Katz

8 killed, 22 wounded in attack on military camp in Sulu

Jun 28, 2019 - 4:26 PM

(3rd UPDATE) The explosion happens on the first day of the assumption of the new chief of the Western Mindanao Command

BLAST SITE. Twin bombings hit a military camp in Indanan, Sulu, on June 28, 2019. Sourced photo

Navy, Air Force, civilian volunteers join search for missing diver

Jun 06, 2019 - 2:45 PM

'Wescom, in coordination with various stakeholders, will continue conducting the joint search and rescue operations despite inclement weather,' says the Western Command as authorities and civilian volunteers search for diver Bryan Nazareno

SEARCH FOR MISSING DIVER. This Philippine Navy vessel is part of the search and rescue operation in Tubbataha Reef. Photo from Wescom

After 'reunion,' Pastor Apollo Quiboloy tags along with Duterte in Sulu trip

Jun 05, 2019 - 2:00 PM

'I'd be happy to see more of the pastor in the coming days,' says President Rodrigo Duterte after his first meeting with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in 3 years

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte introduces Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, Inc. founder and lead Pastor Apollo Quiboloy to Sulu Governor Abdusakur Mahail Tan during his visit to Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu on June 4, 2019. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Coast Guard searches for missing diver in Tubbataha Reef

Jun 05, 2019 - 10:03 AM

The Philippine Coast Guard says diver Bryan Nazareno has been missing since June 3

Abu Sayyaf's Dutch hostage killed in firefight in Sulu

May 31, 2019 - 3:10 PM

(4th UPDATE) The Western Mindanao Command says the Abu Sayyaf killed Dutch birdwatcher Ewold Horn as he tried to escape during a firefight with government troops

This undated handout photo released by Tawi-Tawi police on February 3, 2012 shows bird watcher Dutchman Ewold Horn posing for photo in Tawi-Tawi prior to their abduction. Philippine authorities said February 2, 2012 they had failed to find two European birdwatchers in the crucial 24 hours after their abduction and warned Islamic militants may be holding them. AFP PHOTO/TAWI-TAWI POLICE ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /Tawi-Tawi Police --- NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS STR / TAWI-TAWI POLICE / AFP

Election-related violence disrupts voting in various provinces

May 13, 2019 - 4:02 PM

Shootings and explosions are reported in polling centers and precincts across the country

Sakur Tan rival Ben Loong hosts Sara Duterte, Hugpong in Sulu

Apr 26, 2019 - 7:44 PM

Will former Sulu governor Benjamin Loong unseat the Tan family? In May, he is up against Sulu kingpin Sakur Tan, a party mate of President Rodrigo Duterte.

7 killed in clash between gov’t troops, Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Apr 05, 2019 - 2:38 PM

The military says 3 soldiers and 4 Abu Sayyaf members were killed during an 'intense' half-hour firefight in Patikul, Sulu

Supreme Court stops Comelec from changing polling places in Sulu

Apr 02, 2019 - 5:35 PM

The Supreme Court's status quo ante order involves polling places in at least 5 barangays in Sulu for the May 13 elections

ELECTION PREPS. Sample vote-counting machine used in Philippine elections. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

1 soldier killed, 3 others wounded in Sulu clash vs Abu Sayyaf

Feb 14, 2019 - 6:21 PM

The offensive is part of the military's intensified operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group after the deadly Jolo Cathedral bombing

Abu Sayyaf leader Sawadjaan 'mastermind' in Jolo Cathedral bombing

Feb 04, 2019 - 4:07 PM

Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan was last seen on February 2, when the Philippine Army clashed with around 100 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu

WRECKED. The Jolo Cathedral after the twin blasts on Sunday morning, January 27. Photo from Rappler sources in Sulu

'Main suspect' in Jolo Cathedral bombing surrenders

Feb 04, 2019 - 9:19 AM

(UPDATED) Alias Kamah is identified as the brother of fallen Abu Sayyaf leader Surakah Ingog

AFTERMATH. Two bombs detonate at the Jolo, Sulu cathedral killing civilians hearing mass and Armed Forces personnel who later rushed to rescue survivors. Photo from AFP-WestMinCom

5 gov’t troops killed in clash with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Feb 02, 2019 - 3:09 PM

(UPDATED) Troops engage in an 'intense firefight' with Abu Sayyaf members under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, believed to be involved in the Jolo cathedral bombing

Año: Sources say Jolo 'suicide bombers' were Indonesians

Feb 01, 2019 - 6:49 PM

The DILG chief sees a connection between the Jolo Cathedral bombing and the Basilan blast in July 2018, both of which supposedly involved foreigners linked to ISIS

AFTERMATH. Two bombs detonate at the Jolo, Sulu cathedral killing civilians hearing mass and Armed Forces personnel who later rushed to rescue survivors. Photo from AFP-WestMinCom

PNP: Witness accounts suggest suicide bombing in Jolo Cathedral

Feb 01, 2019 - 1:03 PM

A number of witnesses recalled seeing a woman who, they suspect, brought in the first improvised explosive device

SUICIDE BOMBING? The PNP says witnesses saw a woman enter the Jolo cathedral wearing a jacket and a bag before the explosion occurred. Malacanñang photo

Foreigners in Jolo bombing? PH gov’t to DNA-test unidentified bodies

Jan 30, 2019 - 5:56 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana doubts that Filipinos would carry out suicide bombing

TRIBUTE. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte pays his last respects to one of the victims who died during the twin bombings at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu as he visited Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo on January 28, 2019. Malacañang photo

2 persons of interest in Jolo Cathedral bombing yield, deny involvement

Jan 30, 2019 - 3:09 PM

The two are identified as the men seen in CCTV clips released by the military

SUSPECTS? Two of the 3 men in the videos released by the military yield to authorities to clear their name. Westmincom video screenshot

Jolo Cathedral bombing suspect escapes arrest in Sulu

Jan 30, 2019 - 8:20 AM

(UPDATED) The man believed to be alias Kamah escapes after one of his companions dies in a shootout with a police and military team

ALIAS KAMAH? The man believed to be an Abu Sayyaf Group member is seen in CCTV footage released by the military. Screenshot from Westmincom video

It wasn't first time for priest in Jolo Cathedral bombing

Jan 29, 2019 - 7:50 PM

In 2010, Father Ricky Bacolcol was injured in a blast during a Christmas Day Mass also in Jolo, Sulu

BOMBING AFTERMATH. Policemen and soldiers are seen in front of the Jolo Cathedral, where a bombing took place on January 27, 2019. Photo by Nickee Butlangan/AFP

Duterte says wife, husband suicide bombers behind Jolo bombing

Jan 29, 2019 - 6:37 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte says a woman wearing a cross blew herself up inside the Jolo Cathedral while her husband was behind the second blast in the church's entrance

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte conducts an inspection inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu on January 28, 2019 where two explosions occurred inside and outside the church last January 27. Accompanying the President are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

'They died for faith': Priests mourn Mass-goers in Jolo bombing

Jan 29, 2019 - 5:41 PM

'Most of those who died were our regular Sunday 8 am Mass-goers,' says Jolo apostolic administrator Father Romeo Saniel

JOLO CATHEDRAL. Philippine soldiers walk past the damaged area of the Jolo Cathedral on January 28, 2019, a day after two explosions tore through the place of worship. Photo by Nickee Butlangan/AFP

Duterte in Jolo: Crush Abu Sayyaf by whatever means

Jan 29, 2019 - 3:33 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte appears to blame the Abu Sayyaf and ISIS for the twin explosions in the Jolo Cathedral

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte pays his last respects to one of the victims who died during the twin bombings at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu as he visited Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo on January 28, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

WATCH: Outside Jolo Cathedral during the bombing

Jan 29, 2019 - 1:06 PM

Videos capture the shift from peace to chaos outside the Jolo Cathedral before, during, and after the deadly bombing

SUNDAY EXPLOSION. The scene outside the Jolo Cathedral after two improvised explosive devices detonated. Screenshot from CCTV provided by Westmincom

PH immigration on heightened alert after Jolo bombing

Jan 29, 2019 - 12:18 PM

Foreigners ‘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’

BOMBINGS. Policemen and soldiers stand outside bomb-hit church in Jolo, Sulu province on the southern island of Mindanao, on January 27, 2019. Photo by Nickee Butlangan/AFP

2 bodies still unidentified days after Jolo Cathedral blasts

Jan 29, 2019 - 11:11 AM

Does this bolster ISIS's claim that they deployed 2 suicide bombers to mount the attacks?

UNIDENTIFIED. Philippine security personnel carry a body bag containing the remains of a blast victim after two bombs exploded at a church in Jolo, Sulu province on the southern island of Mindanao, on January 27, 2019. Photo by Nickee Butlangan/AFP

6 children among wounded in Jolo Cathedral bombing

Jan 28, 2019 - 5:05 PM

The minors are between 5 and 10 years old

DEADLY BLAST. Soldiers and civilians are among the dead and wounded in twin explosions that rocked the cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, on January 27, 2019. Photo from PTV's Twitter page

What we know so far: Jolo Cathedral bombing

Jan 28, 2019 - 4:30 PM

(UPDATED) Who are the victims? What bombs were used? Is there really a lockdown in Jolo?

CHURCH BOMBING. Police inspect the Jolo, Sulu Cathedral a day after an improvised explosive device exploded inside. PNP photo

After Jolo bombing, CBCP hits 'cycle of hate'

Jan 28, 2019 - 3:25 PM

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines says a 'cycle of hate' is 'destroying the moral fabric of our country'

CHURCH OFFICIALS. Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Romulo Valles (right) and vice president Bishop Pablo Virgilio David (left) address the media in a press conference on January 28, 2019. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Jolo bombing 'more reason' to retain martial law – Malacañang

Jan 28, 2019 - 12:37 PM

The two recent major bombings in Mindanao are 'too little' to prove martial law has been ineffective, says Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Philippine security personnel carry a body bag containing the remains of a blast victim after two bombs exploded at a church in Jolo, Sulu province on the southern island of Mindanao, on January 27, 2019. - At least 18 people were killed when two bombs hit a church on a southern Philippine island that is a stronghold of Islamist militants, the military said on January 27, days after voters backed the creation of a new Muslim autonomous region. (Photo by NICKEE BUTLANGAN / AFP)

World condemns Jolo Cathedral bombing in Philippines

Jan 28, 2019 - 12:00 PM

(UPDATED) The United States denounces this 'senseless violence' while the European Union says this is 'also an attack against the basic right to practice one's religion'

JOLO BOMBING. Philippine security personnel carry a body bag containing the remains of a blast victim after two bombs exploded at a church in Jolo, Sulu, on January 27, 2019. Photo by Nickee Butlangan/AFP

WATCH: Inside the Jolo Cathedral after the blasts

Jan 28, 2019 - 10:54 AM

The cathedral the morning after Sunday's fatal explosions

CHAOS IN CHURCH. Cops inspect the Jolo, Sulu cathedral a day after the twin IED blasts. PNP video screenshot

Duterte to visit Jolo to inspect cathedral bombing site

Jan 28, 2019 - 10:48 AM

The Jolo Cathedral bombing occurs while the entire Mindanao is under President Rodrigo Duterte's martial law

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte walks past honor guards upon his arrival at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Grandstand of Camp General Mariano N. Castañeda in Silang, Cavite for his attendance to the PNPA 'Maragtas' Class of 2018 commencement exercises on March 21, 2018. Malacañang Photo

LIST: Jolo Cathedral bombings, attacks since 2000

Jan 27, 2019 - 2:51 PM

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu, has been the target of many attacks through the years

Sulu rejects Bangsamoro law | Evening wRap

Jan 24, 2019 - 8:05 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Acor Arceo

Sulu rejects Bangsamoro law

Jan 24, 2019 - 2:21 PM

Sulu is so far the only ARMM territory to have voted against the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, but this has no impact on the region for now

VOTING DAY. Residents of the Municipality Panglima Estino in Sulu vote in the Bangsamoro plebiscite on January 21, Monday. Photo by Derkie Alfonso/The Asia Foundation