COTABATO CITY, Philippines - A joint Army and police bomb disposal team safely deactivated three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) found Sunday by scavengers at a garbage dumpsite near a residential area here.
The IEDs, two of them made up of 60 MM mortar projectiles and another fashioned from a more powerful 81 MM mortar round, were placed inside a sack, according to investigators.
Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, director of the Cotabato City police, said they are now investigating on who could have brought the explosives at the city’s Malagapas garbage dump site in Barangay Rosary Heights 10.
“We have to establish yet if the explosives were kept there, to be used for more bombings in the city, or were intended to be exploded right there in the spot where they were found,” Balquin said.
The discovery followed the August 5, 2013 car bomb explosion along the city’s busy Sinsuat Avenue, which left eight dead and injured more than 30 others.
The bomb exploded just as a convoy led by Cotabato City Administrator Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi was passing by. Sayadi survived the blast with only a superficial wound, but her two motorcycle-riding security escorts were not as lucky.
Balquin said they now have hints on who could have perpetrated the deadly bombing, but declined to reveal any names yet, pending completion of their investigation on the incident, the worst bombing ever in the city’s more than 50-year history.
Cotabato City’s incumbent mayor, Japal Guiani, Jr., has offered a bounty in exchange for any information that would lead to the arrest of the culprits.