Senators, U.S. condemn Davao blast

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Several senators condemned the Davao City blast on Friday that killed at least 14 people and left more than 60 injured.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, called on Filipinos to support Duterte's war against drugs and criminality, which he said "includes the viciousness of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)."

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Davao blast. Muammar Askali alias Abu Rami, a self-proclaimed spokesperson of the terror group, told CNN Philippines in a phone interview on Saturday, their group was not behind the explosion.

Sen. Miguel Zubiri described the blast as "a cowardly attack by soulless outlaws targeting innocent and defenseless civilians."

In a statement, Zubiri said he was in General Santos City, 148 kilometers away from Davao City, when the attack happened around 10:30 p.m.

He warned people about "unwanted rumors," particularly on social media, that may incite panic at this time.

Senate President Koko Pimentel likewise called the attack "cowardly," saying there was no excuse for harming civilians.

He said the Senate will work on achieving justice for the victims.

U.S. offers condolences

The United States offered its condolences to the victims, through a statement by National Security Council spokesman Ned Price.

He said President Barack Obama will be able to personally offer his condolences to President Duterte when they meet in Laos next week.

Price said the U.S. is ready to provide assistance to the crime investigation.

The Armed Forces' Eastern Mindanao Command said the National Police is currently investigating the blast and will soon come up with official findings.

Human rights, rule of law

Human rights group Amnesty International acknowledged the tragedy and extended its condolences to the victims.

It said the government must work on achieving justice for the victims --  but it must do so through a transparent and impartial investigation, so the perpetrators could be given a fair trial.

"The callous disregard shown by the attackers for people's right to life must not be met by government action that itself disregards human rights," said Amnesty's Champa Patel in a statement.

"Resort to unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests or other human rights violations will only play into the hands of those who seek an ever-widening cycle of violence and abuse," she said.

Following the attack, President Duterte declared a state of lawless violence in the country -- ordering the military and police to "run the country in accordance to [his] specifications."

Sen. Risa Hontiveros expressed concern over this, saying the declaration could not legally give the military and police extra powers.

"I urge the Duterte government to continue to operate within the bounds of the law and respect the civil liberties of the people," she said. "We cannot fight lawless elements by depriving our people their right to the rule of law."

Read: Deadly Davao City explosion: Latest developments