Thursday Nov, 30 2023 03:22:30 AM

Bus firm gets threat after foiled bombing attempt in Maguindanao

Local News • 22:51 PM Fri Jan 29, 2016
Ferdinandh Cabrera with reports from Edwin Fernandez
The Shariff Aguak bus terminal. (Photo by Girlie Fernandez)

CITY -– Authorities eye extortion as the motive in the foiled bombing
attempt of a bus unit plying the Cotabato City-Gen. Santos City Thursday
afternoon in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.

to the bombing attempt, the bus firm, Gen. Santos City-based Husky Bus Company,
has received extortion demand from a certain Abu Saddab who heads the group
called ISM,” according to Carlo Manalo, the bus firm’s Cotabato station

said he does not know what ISM” means but said the group has been asking P2
million monthly protection money so the firm’s units will be spared from

said he received the demand through text messages an hour after the bombing
attempt in Shariff Aguak Thursday morning.

said the sender sent more messages, threatening to blow up any of its buses
near a bridge so it will fall into the river or ambush its units using rifle
grenades or set off improvised bombs loaded with 60 mm mortars with two kilos
of cut nails inside the bus.

bus firm’s officer said he reported everything to the local police in Cotabato
City and Maguindanao.

Inspector Camerlo Mungkas, Maguindanao police provincial office spokesperson,
said civilians at the bus terminal noticed a grey back pack left unattended in
one of the terminal benches at about 12:45 p.m.

said police were alerted and cordoned off the area until Army bomb experts
arrived and successful deactivate the IED.

Lito Sobejana, military’s 601st Infantry Brigade commander, said bomb experts
recovered a 60 mm mortar with an attached MK-2 fragmentation grenade, a
container with gasoline and black explosive powder with a mobile phone.

investigation showed the mobile phone has several missed calls, indicating the
bomber tried, but failed, to set off the IED.

quoting witnesses, said a man with a grey backpack boarded the bus in Cotabato
City and alighted at Shariff Aguak public terminal at the town’s public market.

said the man was last seen standing as the Husky bus left for Isulan, Sultan
Kudarat en route to Gen. Santos City.

one has claimed responsibility in the attempt.

Inspector Mungkas has appealed to the public, especially to commuters, to alert
the local police any suspicious item in the bus or anyone acting suspiciously.

also appealed to the bus management to avoid pick-up passengers in between
terminals as precautionary measures. He also suggested to bus inspectors and
conductors to check all baggages that passengers carry with them.

Bus Company, the lone bus firm plying the Cotabato-Maguindanao-Gen. Santos
route had been subjected to several bombings in the past which authorities
blamed on extortion gangs.

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