Cotabato officials condemn bombings
COTABATO CITY – North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco and Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi have strongly condemned the separate bombing incidents in their respective areas of dominion on Sunday evening.
Catamco, in a statement, said the bombings in the municipality of Libungan, North Cotabato and Cotabato City have struck another blow to the people’s sense of security who are still reeling from the losses, damages, and trauma of the recent earthquakes.
“I vehemently condemn these attacks on our fellow Cotabateños. Let us keep in mind that these terrorist acts aim to instill fear and to spread panic,” the governor said, as she called on everyone to remain calm and to stay vigilant.
She added that the provincial government would be closely monitoring the situation alongside security forces and concerned local government units, and will extend the necessary support to all partners in peace.
“I strongly believe in the fortitude and mettle of our people. We have proven this, time and again. We have survived and thrived despite natural disasters and acts of terrorism,” she said.
At least five persons were injured in the 6:30 p.m. bombing that occurred along the Libungan Bridge in Barangay Poblacion, Libungan, North Cotabato.
In Cotabato City, an update said the number of those wounded in Sunday’s blast incident in front of the Cotabato Cathedral has risen to 14 – nine soldiers and five civilians.
“I urge city residents to
be vigilant amid these instances of terrorism,” the mayor said.
She added that the police and military remain on top of the situation but still need the cooperation of the community to fight terrorism.
Col. Portia Manalad, city police director, said a grenade caused the bombing at the vicinity of the Cotabato Cathedral, while an improvised explosive device triggered a separate explosion at nearby Pedro Colina Hill.
Two separate blasts that followed minutes after was due to “bomb disruptions” initiated by military and police bomb disposal experts, she added.
In Maguindanao, an explosion also took place at the site of a trade fair in North Upi town at about 9 p.m. Sunday, injuring two victims.
Troopers from the Army’s 6th Infantry Division have been mobilized to augment security forces in the three areas. (PNA)