PNP condemns deadly blast in Cotabato City as ‘cowardly attack’
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde has condemned the deadly blast in stalls selling fireworks in front of the South Seas Mall in Cotabato City on Monday.
Albayalde described the explosion, which killed two victims and injured 32 others, as a “cowardly attack” perpetrated by a still unknown suspect, hours before the celebration of the New Year.
“The Philippine National Police strongly condemns these despicable acts of violence perpetrated this afternoon by unknown elements in Cotabato City,” he said in a statement.
Albayalde said he has already ordered the creation of a special investigation task group to probe on the explosion.
Initial investigation showed the blast ripped through the stalls after a man threw in the area a wrapped box later discovered as an improvised explosive device.
“We sincerely express our deep sympathy and offer our fervent prayers to the families of those killed and injured, even as we vow to mobilize all available resources in order to quickly bring to the bars of justice those responsible for these cowardly attacks against innocent civilians,” he said.
Albayalde also urged the public to report to authorities information that may lead to the arrest of those behind the blast.
The Soccsksargen police may be reached through its hotline numbers: 0921 989 8174 and 0926 650 0628./ac
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.