Authorities in Sultan Kudarat defused two powerful bombs rigged into a motorcycle that was left at a rotunda leading to Maguindanao on Friday, the third anniversary of the infamous massacre in the neighboring province.
Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police director, said one of the bombs had two 60-millimeter mortar ammunition while the other had two 81-millimeter rounds.
“When our EOD (explosives and ordnance disposal) team arrived, umuusok na ‘yung cord, fortunately ‘yung blasting cap na mag-iignite sana para mag-create ng explosion ay hindi pumutok,” Balquin said in a phone interview.
The bombs, which have a cellphone as triggering device, were placed under the seat of the motorcycle left at the rotunda in Isulan, he said.
“‘Yung dalawang IED (improvised explosive device) na ‘yun pagka sumabog will create tremendous damage, injuries kung hindi man, o baka marami ang mamamatay,” Balquin said.
A “concerned citizen” called the Isulan Police around 8:20 a.m. and reported seeing the motorcycle at one of the rotunda’s exits – the one leading to Maguindanao.
Members of the Isulan Police, along with soldiers, arrived around 8:30 a.m., cordoned the area, and were able to defuse the bombs around 9 a.m.
Balquin said they have yet to determine if the bombs were intended for those who attended the massacre’s commemoration, including Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu who “usually” passes by the rotunda.
Mangudadatu’s wife, relatives, supporters, and more than 30 media personnel were killed in the massacre in Ampatuan town on Nov. 23, 2009. (John Roson)
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