Alert guard prevents casualties in Sultan Kudarat bombing
COTABATO CITY – An alert market guard prevented what could have been a bloody Monday dawn when he confronted three men suspiciously leaving a bag at a public market in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.
Senior Supt. Raul Supiter, Sultan Kudarat police provincial director, said the guard on duty, whom he did not name, noticed three men on board a motorbike arrive at past 1 a.m. Monday.
Quoting the guard, Supiter said the three men suspiciously observed the surroundings then unloaded a black bag on the spot where military personnel normally park Army trucks while doing marketing.
The market guard yelled at the three men, asking what’s in the bag. But the three men hurriedly left, leaving behind the bag and a motorbike.
The guard immediately alerted the local police who responded and cordoned off the area.
While police and bomb experts were preparing to check on the bag, it suddenly went off.
Supiter said nobody was hurt.
The motorbike is now in police custody and authorities are coordinating with the local Land Transportation Office (LTO) to identify the owner of the vehicle.
Supiter theorized the improvised explosive device was meant for soldiers who would usually do marketing chores every dawn and park the Army vehicle near the market exit road, the same spot where the three men left the bag.
Supiter said it could be a retaliatory attack by lawless elements who were the subject of a military operation in Barangay Bual, about 20 kilometers from the town’s central market.
“Yes, probably they wanted to get back at the military,” Supiter said.
At least 11 bandits have been killed in Army-police operations in Barangay Bual since last week.
Government forces were to serve warrants of arrest against a certain Kagi Dimas alias “Commander Dragon,” who was into illegal mining and extortion activities in the village of Bual.
Assorted firearms and explosives were recovered in that operation that also injured a soldier.
Supiter lauded the market guard, and directed all police stations across the province to raise the alert status ab0ut possible destabilization attempts by supporters and sympathizers of Commander Dragon. SFM/rga