Mr Duterte said after visiting the bomb site at 4am on Saturday that “I have this duty to protect the country. I have this duty to keep intact the integrity of the nation.”
“This is not the first time Davao has been sacrificed in the altar of violence,” he said citing past acts of violence, including a bombing at Davao airport in 2003 that killed more than 20 people and was blamed on Islamic extremists.
Specifically, Duterte said he was allowing searches of motor vehicles at checkpoints.
“Maghinto kayo sa mga checkpoints. If you see a sign and there are soldiers flashing their lights, switch off your headlights, switch on the light inside your cars because I’m authorizing them to search,” Duterte said.
“So if you do not have anything to hide, I am suggesting that you be liberal enough to understand us because we are trying to cope up with a crisis now,” he added.
“Everybody can come in and out of Davao,” he said.
“Davao is safe, there is no criminality here except terrorism.” Asked for his message to the people, he said “keep calm”.
“Everybody is a suspect. Of course, ASG made the threat. We will look into that,” he said.
Duterte noted that he had warned against the dangers of terrorism over the past few weeks in a series of speeches before law enforcement groups.
For now, however, the incident will be treated as a police matter while investigation is ongoing.
“We have leads, but I will not reveal it to the public as of now,” he said.