Basilan blasts came from unattended baggage, police say | Inquirer News

Basilan blasts came from unattended baggage, police say

/ 05:00 AM June 01, 2022

Damaged garage of D’ Biel Transportation in Isabela City STORY: The blast at the garage of D’ Biel Transportation in Isabela City leaves a truck damaged and two injured

BOMB ATTACK | The blast at the garage of D’ Biel Transportation in Isabela City leaves a truck damaged and two injured. (Photo courtesy of DXNO Basilan)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Western Mindanao’s top police official has called on the public to be vigilant and help law enforcers check on unattended baggage and belongings in the wake of the twin bombings in Isabela City, Basilan province, on Monday.

Brig. Gen. Franco Simborio, regional police director, on Tuesday said investigators had leads in the first blast at a local outlet of a fast-food chain and obtained an initial account from the security guard of D’ Biel Transportation where a second explosion ripped through its garage.


The first explosion occurred at the fast-food restaurant’s parking area on Plaza Rizal at 5:40 p.m. No one was reported hurt.


The second blast came at 6:15 p.m., at the D’ Biel compound on Valderosa Street in Barangay La Piedad, about a kilometer away from where the first explosion occurred.

Two persons were injured in the second blast, whom police identified as store vendor Evangelyn Francisco, 28, of Barangay Sunrise, and security guard Christopher Pasaul, 47, of Barangay Calvario.

Francisco had wounds on her right outer ear and lower back while Pasaul had minor injuries. They were taken to Basilan General Hospital.

The blast at the D’ Biel compound also damaged a parked truck.

Pasaul told local radio station dxNO that a barker for a bus (body number 81) informed him that a carton box was left by a client from Lamitan City, saying that someone would pick it up.

Caught on cam

Pasaul said he transferred the box near the compound’s entrance and minutes later, it exploded.


In the fast-food restaurant blast, Simborio said footage from a security camera showed an unidentified man, in yellow shirt and cap, arriving at the parking area and leaving a plastic bag which later exploded.

In Metro Manila, the Philippine National Police said investigators were looking at two suspects behind the two explosions.

“The post-blast investigation will now determine the composition of explosives used. Our investigators are doubling time to identify the culprit of these two incidents and to establish the possible connection of both,” Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., the PNP officer in charge, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Isabela City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman has urged authorities “to determine the perpetrators of these senseless acts of violence and to bring those responsible for the disruption of public peace and order in the city behind bars.”

Maj Gen. Alfredo Rosario, chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, assured the public that authorities “are still on top of the situation” and urged the public to remain calm and advised them not to spread unverified information that could cause panic.

In a separate statement, Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, the PNP director for operations, said: “If these were terrorist attacks, we will ensure that they will be held accountable at the soonest possible time.”

He directed all regional directors and police unit commanders to intensify their security measures to thwart similar attacks.

The last bombing incident in Isabela happened on April 12, 2010. That blast killed 14 people.

Monday’s twin blasts in Isabela City came four days after two explosions rocked the cities of Koronadal and Tacurong in Central Mindanao last week.



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