Palace calls for unity vs terrorism on 9/11 anniversary

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday called for unity against terrorism in a message marking the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said nations have chosen to stand united against a “common enemy espousing bigotry, fanaticism and anarchy.”

“Let us continue to remain united in our effort to defeat terrorism,” Abella said in a press briefing. 

Abella said the government is pursuing peace talks and pushing for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to prevent the spread of terrorist ideology. 

“We are working as one nation, pouring resources and infrastructure development in Mindanao while pursuing peace talks with the Muslim rebels and pushing for legislation the creation of a Bangsamoro region within the sovereignty of the Republic,” Abella said.

About 3,000 people died and more than 6,000 others were injured when terrorists hijacked four planes and crashed them in key US locations.

Two of the planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. A third crashed in the Pentagon and another at a field in Pennsylvania. 

Twenty-one of those who died in the terrorist attacks were Filipino-Americans. 

Abella said the Philippines has achieved gains in its campaign against Maute terrorists, who laid siege to Marawi City on May 23. More than 800 people have died since the fighting broke out in the predominantly Muslim City. 

“In the Philippines, the fight against a Daesh-inspired rebellion in the Islamic city of Marawi is in its last miles,” Abella said, referring to the Arabic acronym for the international extremist group Islamic State.

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