MANILA, Philippines — United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday condemned Friday night's attack at a Davao City market, urging accountability and justice. "The Secretary-General stresses the need to ensure accountability and to bring to justice the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks," his spokesman said in a statement. Ban also extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes the injured "speedy recovery."
"He stands with the Government and people of the Philippines," the statement read. President Rodrigo Duterte placed the country under a state of lawless violence following the blast in his home town which killed 14 people and injured about 70 others. Malacañang on Sunday, however, revealed that the declaration was being drafted even before the explosion. Abu Sayyaf, an extremist group based in southern Philippines, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Duterte, who inspected the scene of the attack, said his declaration did not amount to an imposition of martial law. It allows troops to be deployed in urban centers to back up the police in setting up checkpoints and increasing patrols, he said.
Duterte's scheduled in Laos starting Monday where he would travel for his first official visit could not accommodate a meeting with the United Nations chief. He is set to meet with US President Barack Obama, among other world leaders.