JOLO, Sulu — A Coast Guard personnel belonging to its K9 unit was found dead at the site of the explosion that rocked the Cathedral of Our Lady Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu this morning, 27 January 2019.

Initial report reaching PCG headquarters in Manila disclosed that the three K9 personnel identified as PO3 Joemar Sanson, PO3 Paolo Isolana and Seaman Second Jaypee Galicha were attending the mass inside the cathedral when the incident happened.

In an update provided to PCG leadership at around 2pm, Coast District Western Mindanao Commander Captain Joseph Coyme said that SN2 Jaypee Galicha was located by authorities and was confirmed dead at the site of the blast.

Meanwhile, PO3 Sanson sustained burns in the body and multiple wounds. He is in critical condition, and will be airlifted today to Zamboanga City for immediate medical treatment.

PO3 Isolana, on the other hand, sustained multiple wounds, but is conscious and in stable condition.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and PCG join the nation in condemning the ruthless attack on both uniformed personnel and civilians attending church services.

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino has alerted all PCG units in the area, and directed them to join pesonnel from the AFP and PNP in the investigation and pursuit of the perpetrators.

“I am reiterating the instructions of DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to ensure that all security measures are in place and strictly implemented particularly in all ports in Southern Philippines. Be vigilant and keep our forces in the highest state of readiness,” Admiral Hermogino stressed.

Based on initial reports from the PNP, there were a total of 27 casualties composed of 7 from the Army, one from the PCG and 19 civilians, while 77 were wounded (AFP - 14, PNP - 2, PCG - 2, Civilian - 59).