The blast occurred as people were coming out of the Our Lady of Hope Parish in the town of Esperanza in the southern province of Sultan Kudarat after a mass.
Local mayor Helen Latog said a car was parked across the main entrance of the church which helped to block the impact of the explosion, but two of the car's passengers were injured.
Superintendent Romeo Galgo, a regional police spokesman, said the device was believed to have been triggered by a mobile phone.
Galgo said intelligence officials believe the bombing was meant to divert attention from a military offensive against the Maute group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist organization.
About 100 members of the Maute group have occupied several buildings in the centre of the town of Butig in the nearby province of Lanao de Sur since Thursday.
The military has launched air and ground assaults to flush the group out and at least two soldiers have been injured in the fighting.
Published : November 27, 2016
By : Deutsche Presse Agentur