THE suspected motive behind the explosion of a private vehicle in Ecoland, Davao City on Thursday, June 15, is most likely work-related thus the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) rules out terrorism.
DCPO chief PCol. Alberto Lupaz said the driver of the vehicle is lawyer Alberto Magulta who handles “big” legal cases in Soccsksargen. Lupaz said that Magulta also told the police that he was already receiving threats before the incident.
“Makita nimo sa CCTV na gi-pili ra gyod iyang sakyanan. Gibutang didto sa ilalom. In line gyod ni sa kung unsa gina-handle na kaso. Probable suspects ani ang mga gilabanan na kaso, siguro napildi mao na disgruntled sila mao na gusto nila hurawon ang abogado (It was obvious in the CCTV that the suspects knew the car. The explosive device was placed under it. This could be related to one of the cases handled by the lawyer. The probable suspects are the lawyer’s opponents in the cases he handles. They were probably disgruntled and wanted to threaten the lawyer),” Lupaz said during an interview with the media.
The vehicle was a Honda CRV parked at One Oasis Davao Condominium along (Eoland Drive) near the law office of Magulta. However, Lupaz said that Magulta’s wife actually owned the vehicle according to him.
Based on the CCTV footage obtained by the police, the explosion came from the rear end of the vehicle at around 10:00 am.
Two unidentified individuals left the object under the vehicle and the car exploded within five minutes. Lupaz said the suspects looked around 20 to 25 years old.
“Wala makita sa footage (if they had a getaway car). Ang makita sa CCTV, nag lakaw lang sila... Ato na gitanaw ang uban CCTV karon kung asa paingon ang mga suspects. I-blowup nato ni basig naa’y maka-identify sailaha (The CCTV footage doesn’t show if they had a getaway car. It only shows that the suspects were walking towards the car. We are already looking into the other CCTV footage to trace where the suspects went. We plan to blow up their images so they can be identified),” he said, adding that suspects would face major charges once they are caught and identified.
The investigation is ongoing and Lupaz said the forensic unit of DCPO is collecting fragments of the explosion to determine the cause and identify the kind of explosive used.
Fortunately, there were no significant damages aside from Magulta’s vehicle and no civilians were injured from the explosion.
In terms of the city’s security, the DCPO chief said security adjustments should be made especially since the suspects committed the crime in broad daylight.
“So far, wala ta’y nadawat na threats (there are no potential threats against Davao City). Kini gyod, dili nato siya ma-relate to terrorism. Work-related gyod ni (We can say that it is not related to terrorism, it’s work-related),” Lupaz said.
Task Force Davao head Col. Darren Comia added that they plan to strengthen the city’s culture of security.
“Pinahigpitan natin ang pagpapatupad ng ating (We are strengthening our) security checks especially those going out of Davao City. Naglagay na tayo ng check points, checking those going out of Davao City sa lahat ng (We have check points in all) border control points natin,” Comia said.