PNP exec: Recent Mindanao blasts targeted businesses, won’t affect Sara Duterte inauguration
MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine National Police (PNP) official assured the public that there are no threats to the inauguration of Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio even with the recent explosions in Mindanao, saying that the attacks targeted businesses and not the general public.
During a press briefing after Monday’s flag raising ceremony at Camp Crame, PNP Director for Operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon said that they are now looking at the possibility that the blasts in Mindanao — two in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato and another two in Basilan — were not meant to harm people.
De Leon mentioned this after being asked if the PNP is monitoring any threat to Duterte-Carpio’s inauguration, which is expected to happen in Davao City on June 19.
“Wala naman (None as of now), if you have noticed that most of the bombings that transpired in Mindanao are generally not to harm people as they are not placed in vital installations, places of convergence, commercial establishments,” he told reporters.
“It was meant to send a message and that is the one that we are trying to validate, considering that some are in public businesses, like terminals, food chains, and bus operations,” he added.
Last May 26, two separate explosions were reported in Koronadal, South Cotabato and Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat. The bombing at Koronadal happened inside a bus that had few passengers left as it happened during off-peak hours, while the other incident occurred at a bus terminal in Tacurong.
Then just four days later, on May 30, two separate explosions were heard near a fast food chain and a bus garage in Isabela City. Initially, the explosion near the food store was thought to be due to a faulty electrical setup, but PNP’s review of closed circuit television cameras showed the explosion originating from an abandoned canister.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao said last May 30 that the bombing in Koronadal happened after an attempt to extort money from the owners of the bus liner — leading the investigators to explore other motives for the incident.
De Leon is also confident that the Police Regional Office 11 (PRO-11) is very much capable of securing the inauguration of Duterte-Carpio, noting that they would only provide assistance regarding intelligence reports.
“The strength of PRO-11 is enough to contain the security required for the oath taking of Vice President-elect Mayor Inday Sara Duterte. We would probably be around just to supervise, but in terms of forces or strength to be augmented from the national headquarters will be not considered at the moment,” he said.
“But we will be providing everything, from traffic to intelligence, to the presence of our forces,” he added.
Duterte-Carpio was proclaimed as next Vice President last May 25, after a landslide victory where she got 32,208,417 votes — way ahead of opposition candidate Senator Francis Pangilinan, who got 9,329,207 votes.
Her running mate, President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, was also proclaimed winner after edging out Vice President Leni Robredo, 31,629,783 votes to 15,035,773 votes.
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