ATTENDEES of the mass christening at St. Anthony Parish Church in Koronadal City, South Cotabatom were left in shock after an explosion just outside the church on Sunday, April 29, followed by authorities detonating a separate IED just a few meters from the church.
The explosion, which injured 2 persons, was heard around 12 p.m. while the church was packed with people attending a mass christening, wounding of two civilians who were rushed to the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital.
The injured were identified as Dindo Zamora, 39, and Generosa Sumargo, 44, both residents of Koronadal City. They are in stable condition, reports said.
“We were still inside the church attending the christening then. It started late actually. Supposed to be, the ceremony is already done by 12 noon. By exactly 12 noon on my watch, there was a loud explosion near the side entrance of the church. Everyone panicked but the priest told us to remain calm,” said Wisian Phoebe Lumingkit in the vernacular. She was inside the church.
She added the explosion was so loud but they stayed inside the church to finish the ceremony. It was already almost 1 p.m. when they exited the church. Rizal St., where the side of the church that the explosion took place, was already temporarily closed by the time the mass was finished. Lumingkit said the Philippine National Police (PNP) were then deployed in the area for investigation.
In the official Facebook page of City of Koronadal managed by the City Information Office (CIO), it was stated that another IED was found less than an hour since the first explosion occurred in front of 747 Convenience Store along Gensan Drive, Koronadal City. This is just a few meters away from St. Anthony Parish Church.
The IED was, however, able to be detonated by the authorities before it was able to explode.
As of press time, the authorities are still doing further investigations relating to the incident.
The city government of Koronadal encourages the residents to be careful with the news and information they post online to avoid any further panic and miscommunication.
“In light of the recent alleged bomb explosion incident in Koronadal, we request everyone to please post, share, or report only validated information in order not to cause more panic and avoid more confusion. Meanwhile, let us remain calm and cooperative with our authorities for easier resolution of the case at hand,” read the CIO post on its official page.