PNP beefs up security after Mindanao blasts

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has beefed up security in public places including transportation networks following the explosions that hit a bus in Koronadal, South Cotabato and by the roadside in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat on Thursday.

PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen Vicente Danao Jr. assured the public yesterday that the police is on full alert and ready to thwart any similar attacks.

“Now is also the time for the public to be extra vigilant and report immediately any suspicious individuals or activities in their area,” he said in a statement.

The PNP created a special investigation task group to look into the bombing of a unit of Yellow Bus Line, which left two persons wounded.

There was no reported casualty in the blast in Tacurong.

Maj. Gen Valeriano de Leon, PNP Directorate for Operations head, said all police commanders were directed to inspect transport terminals and conduct target hardening on vital installations and other public places.

He said the PNP main office is ready to deploy additional troops, if necessary, to run after those behind the attacks.

De Leon said police commanders should come up with the necessary security adjustments to protect civilians in coordination with other stakeholders, including transport operators.

“Dito papasok ang kahalagahan ng pagtutulungan ng kapulisan at komunidad para hindi mabigyan ng oportunidad ang mga taong ito na muling magsagawa ng ganitong uri ng pambobomba,” he said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Brig. Gen. Eduardo Gubat of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum of the Soccsksargen police told reporters in separate interviews there are indications that the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Dawlah Islamiya were behind the bomb attacks.

Tagum said plainclothes intelligence operatives were deployed in transport terminals as a precautionary measure. – John Unson


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