Davao City boosts security after bomb blast in North Cotabato

(Photo courtesy of Davao City Information Office)
(Photo courtesy of Davao City Information Office)

SECURITY forces in Davao City are under heightened alert following the bomb explosion around noon of January 27, 2021, along the national highway in Sibsib, Tulunan, North Cotabato.

An elderly woman was killed while at least five others, including an 11-year-old child, were wounded when a bomb exploded.

Joint Task Force Central spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Anhouvic Atilano said they were looking at the involvement of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the attacks.

Task Force Davao Commander Colonel Consolito Yecla said in a radio interview that all checkpoints in the city's border were immediately alerted right after the incident.

Yecla said they intensified their screening and monitoring of all checkpoints, especially buses coming into the city.

He also said they coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard to intensify its patrolling in Davao Gulf and check whether there are suspicious vessels within the area.

The security official said they had coordinated with the management of the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (Dcott) to also intensify its inspection on all buses coming in and out of the terminal.

Yecla said that bus drivers are reminded not to pick up passengers outside the terminal.

"Na-notice namin na may mga bus operators nga paglabas nila sa bus terminal mu-U turn sila and mga passengers na wala nagsulod sa terminal nga nag-atang lang sa gawas ila gina-pick up (We noticed that some bus operators will go out from the bus terminal. When they U-turn, they pick up passengers outside the terminal)," he said.

Aside from it being a violation of the security sector's standard operating procedure, he said they are compromising the safety of their passengers.

"They are supposed to be inspected sa loob ng (inside the) terminal," he reiterated.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), in their issued memorandum circulars, also said that bus drivers are only allowed to pick up passengers from terminal-to-terminal.

This is part of the Covid-19 minimum health procedure, where all entering passengers must be screened thoroughly.


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