Monday Sep, 23 2019 09:20:52 PM

(UPDATE) Cops eye extortion in Isulan bombing, CCTV shows woman planted the ied

Breaking News • 10:30 AM Sat Sep 7, 2019
Edwin O. Fernandez and Roel Osano
The blast site in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. A man lying on the ground in yellow shirt was the traffic enforcer. Scene of the Crime Operatives probe the blast site. (Photos by Radyo Bida Koronadal and Eli Elthon)

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat  – Police eye extortion as the motive in Saturday’s bombing in front of the public market here that left seven persons injured, including a traffic enforcer and an off duty militiaman.

Lt. Colonel Joven Bagaybay, Isulan police director (not Lt. Colonel Junie Buenacosa as earlier reported), said the 7 a.m. blast came as the town police and the military were placed on heightened alert following rumors through text message of an impending bombing.

Bagaybay identified the victims as Nino Virgo, 28, Jaren Amigo, 24, Jay Carnaso, 30, off-duty CAFGU Jomar Aquino, 31, Nasim Gulano, 24, all of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat and Gerald Cartagena, 28, of Surallah, South Cotabato.

Another victim, Isulan Traffic Enforcer Terencio Cagadas, was rushed to Holy Nazarene Hospital.

“We are already on alert because of text messaging about impending bombing in town,” Bagaybay said.

“Possible motive is extortion but we are not discounting possible involvement of extremists, we are still investigating,” he added.

Police probers are studying a CCTV footage about a woman on motorbike who appeared to have left the IED the night before. She arrived on a motorbike and left behind the motor vehicle and the IED.

An Army intelligence officer asking he is not identified said the IED that went off Saturday was similar to other improvised bombs that were set off in Isulan.

He said based on CCTV footage of various business establishments in front and beside the public market, the IED was believed to have been left by unidentified suspect the night before or early this morning.

The bombing came hours before Pres. Duterte is to lead the decommissioning of Moro rebels in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, about 100 kilometers away.

Last year, two successive bombings hit the town that left five dead and 45 others hurt. 

In April this year, 18 persons were hurt when a man set off an IED in front of a Chicke House located in the same stretch of the national highway.

Police and military authorities blamed the IS linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Isulan is the provincial capital of Sultan Kudarat. 

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