Oro on alert after dawn blast-A A +A
Thursday, October 11, 2012
CAGAYAN DE ORO (Updated 3 p.m.) -- Police said Thursday that no peace and order threats were reported in the city that could have triggered the early morning bomb explosion that killed two people here, "except only in neighboring provinces."
Northern Mindanao Police Regional Director Gil Hitosis said, however, that they are not taking the incident lightly especially since they received a directive from Camp Crame in Manila to tighten security in Mindanao, a week before the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are set to sign the Bangsamoro framework agreement.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines in a report earlier said it was bracing for possible attacks from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and other secessionist groups who may sabotage the peace deal.
The BIFF, in an interview with Bombo Radyo, lauded the Bangsamoro entity that may replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Abu Misri Mama, BIFF spokesperson, said they can do nothing if the planned new Bangsamoro entity will resolve the decades-old conflict.
Thursday’s blast in this city killed two civilians and wounded two policemen. The bomb exploded near the Maxandrea Hotel along J.R. Borja St. Thursday dawn.
Police identified the fatalities as Rudy Jote, who died on the spot, and a certain alias “Toto,” who was rushed to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) but died after two hours.
Police said the fatalities happened to pass by when the bomb exploded around 2 a.m.
Those injured were identified as Police Officers 1 Dexter Daño and Rogelio Canilanza who were both assigned at the Police Station 2 in Cogon. They were among those who responded to the area.
Another bomb was found placed under a green Frontier vehicle owned by local television firm GMA Network, which was parked beside the hotel.
Operatives of Explosive and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) successfully detonated the bomb.
Senior Superintendent Gerardo Rosales, chief of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that they don’t have any lead yet as to the motive of the bombing.
“We’re still conducting further investigation at wala pang concrete evidence na puwede nating ma-connect sa anumang grupo ang pangyayaring ito,” Rosales said.
Based on the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera of the hotel, three men wearing jackets and caps left a cellophane beside the hotel prior to the explosion.
Police initial investigation showed that the hotel’s security guard discovered the cellophane around 1:45 a.m. and reported it to the staff at the hotel’s desk who in turn called up the Cogon Police Station.
The bomb exploded shortly after the police arrived in the area.
In a related incident, two improvised explosive devices also exploded on Wednesday in two separate areas in Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City, injuring three civilians. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro)