MANILA -- Malacanang has expressed concerned over the bomb blast in Cotabato that left seven people dead and 20 others injured.

An improvised explosive device (IED) exploded inside Rural Transit deluxe bus, which traversed the road of Kabacan-Matalam highway in North Cotabato, Thursday morning.

Presidential Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ricky Carandang said violence such as bombing and other atrocities that claimed lives of innocent people have been a serious concern to the government.

Before the bombing in Cotabato, a bomb threat was also reported at Tower 1 in Makati, City that interrupted trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange and forced workers to evacuate the building.

“These things are always a concern for the Palace,” Carandang said, adding that they have condemned the Cotabato blast.

Carandang said President Benigno Aquinio III has ordered an investigation into the Cotabato incident. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)