Civilians, cops foil Church bombing plot in Sultan Kudarat
TACURONG CITY — An improvised bomb was found at the entrance of a Catholic chapel in Barangay Pimbalayan, Lambayong town of Sultan Kudarat on Monday, preventing what could have been another attack on another Catholic church in Mindanao, the police here reported.
Lt. Colonel Aldrin Gonzales, speaking for the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Region 12, said a backpack, later found to contain an improvised explosive device, was left unattended in front of the chapel in Purok Rosal at past 10 a.m., prompting civilians to report it to Barangay Pimbalayan chair Musaid Kandatu.
Kandatu called the attention of the Lambayong town police who promptly secured the chapel.
Bomb experts detonated the explosives made of 81-mm mortars and mobile phone as a trigger mechanism. Also found at the blast site were disintegrated parts of mortar round, mobile phones, circuit board, and battery snap connectors.
“It was really meant to harm,” said Police Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco, police director for Soccsksargen region, who lauded the quick response of the civilians.
“Good enough civilians were prompt in alerting the police. Civilians are helping authorities fight violence and this is one example,” Rasco told the Inquirer.
The blast during the deactivation process had put holes on the ceiling of the still unfinished chapel, where church services were held during the recent Lenten break.
Fr. Vany Centina, Lambayong parish priest, thanked civilians for being alert and urged them to be vigilant always. “Let us be vigilant, let us secure our families, let us help authorities fight terrorism,” Father Centina said in Filipino.
No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb plot but Captain Luna said police had already identified “persons of interest,” as they continued with their investigation.
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