MANILA, Philippines—An improvised explosive device was found at a banana corporation in Tulunan, North Cotabato Friday morning, a military spokesman said.
The bomb, fashioned from a 60mm mortar, was safely detonated after it was found at a packing section of RFN Industries Corporation in the village of Tambak, acting Philippine Army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc said.
He cited the possibility the foiled attack was a handiwork of Moro rebels as 60 newly-surrendered members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are now working in the banana plantation.
“Jealousy” could be the motive behind the bombing attempt, Cabunoc said.
The 60 MILF rebels, who surrendered Thursday in Tulunan town, handed over 32 firearms in the ceremony witnessed by local officials and non-government organizations.
It was facilitated by Lieutenant Colonel Kit Teofilo, commanding officer of the 68th Infantry Battalion.
Meanwhile, troops belonging to the 68th Infantry Battalion have been secured to ensure the safety of the employees, Cabunoc said.
On November 26, one was killed and two were wounded in an attack by about 150 Moro rebels led by a certain Commander Jun Pananggulon Commander Bhoto Mantol and Commander Gani Saligan, against their former comrades who were working in a farm in Sitio Pedtad, village Dungos.
The local government of Tulunan, led by Mayor Lani Candolada, is now preparing a complaint against the MILF to be filed before the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities. It accused the rebel group of perpetrating violent attacks during the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, Cabunoc said.
A leader of the former rebels claimed that a Jemaah Islamiyah– trained bomber whom he personally knew was among the attackers, he added.