Military on high alert following Tacurong bombing
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines are on high alert in Sultan Kudarat following the bombing of the convoy of Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu on Monday, which left two persons dead and six injured.
According to 6th Infantry Division chief Major General Rey Ardo, the military intensified their checkpoints in Tacurong City as the Philippine National Police (PNP) revved up their investigation of the bombing.
Ardo said his forces had earlier deployed checkpoints in the area as a response to the on-going conflict between members of the Moro-Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and its break-away group, the Muslim Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters, led by wanted rebel leader Umbra Kato.
“Ang problema nga natin kung ang motive talaga e (Our problem is really to find out the motive),” Ardo said. However, he refused to speculate as the PNP are still investigating who was behind the bombing which Gov. Mangudadatu had claimed was intended for him.
Ardo added that Mangudadatu had military and police escorts, and during the attack on Monday afternoon, the security team was part of the convoy.
Meanwhile, the police have identified the casualties as Raffy Parenas, a bystander who died on the spot after the car bomb exploded past 3PM Monday along Alunan Ave. in Tacurong City, while Board Member Russman Sinsuat died at the hospital shortly past midnight on Tuesday. Sinsuat’s son, Russman Jr. , lost his leg, which doctors had to amputate, due to severe injuries incurred in the blast.
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