Police secure witnesses in North Cotabato bombing
MLANG, North Cotabato – The police has secured an unspecified number of witnesses who could help identify the perpetrators of Sunday’s bombing at a billiards hall here that killed two people and wounded 25 others, the town’s mayor said Monday.
Mayor Joselito Piñol would not identify the witnesses but said they might be able to give more information on who planted the bomb at the billiards hall, located a few steps from the town plaza where a carnival had drawn hundreds of merrymakers.
“We hope they can help in identifying the suspects (sic),” Piñol said over the Catholic Church-run dxND radio in Kidapawan City.
According to investigators, the billiards hall was packed and many other people were passing by it on their way to the carnival when the blast occurred at 7:30 p.m.
Instantly killed were John Camiring and Jade Villarin.
The wounded victims were taken to various hospitals here and in Kidapawan City.
Piñol said that prior to the blast, two suspicious-looking individuals were seen in the area. They left the place on a yellow motorcycle shortly after the explosive went off.
“We condemn this act. I already instructed the police to conduct a thorough investigation and bring the perpetrators behind bars,” he said.
The Mlang blast came a week after a powerful bomb went off in nearby Kabacan town in North Cotabato, killing a 19-year-old student and wounding 16 others.
Earlier, in Zamboanga City, two persons were injured when a grenade exploded in Barangay Buenavista on Saturday night, and the authorities recovered a bag stuffed with explosives in Barangay Malagutay.
Supt. Ariel Huesca, spokesperson of the Zamboanga City Police Office, said the explosion took place near the house of Barangay Buenavista chair Eugene Jumawan. Twenty minutes later, operatives of the Joint Task Group Zamboanga recovered an abandoned bag full of explosives in Barangay Malagutay, he said.
He said the bag contained five M203 grenades, three hand grenades and a hand-held radio.
Huesca said witnesses saw two persons leaving the bag but their identities were not ascertained.
“But there was no connection between the explosion and the bagful of explosives recovered,” he said. Reports from Williamor Magbanua, Edwin Fernandez, Julie Alipala and Liza Jocson, Inquirer Mindanao
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.