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Experts to help set up Marawi City anti-terror emergency network

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 15:00 PM Tue Dec 5, 2023
John Felix Unson
The entrance gate to the bombed-out Dimaporo gymnasium, is now shut while authorities are still investigating the bomb explosion inside. (From Merlyn Manos) 

COTABATO CITY -- A regional telecommunications ministry offered to help the Mindanao State University establish a viable emergency reaction network for mobile phone users in its campus in Marawi City.

Technical personnel of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region here told reporters on Tuesday that they can set up such networks with the help of private telecommunications companies whose operation covers Lanao del Sur and its capital, Marawi City.

Bangsamoro Regional Transportation and Communications Minister Paisalin Pangandaman Tago was among the first who condemned the bombing of a worship rite at MSU’s Dimaporo gymnasium on Sunday that left four Christian worshipers dead and hurt more than 30 others.

Tago, a Maranao who hails from Lanao del Sur, told reporters at about noon Sunday, just a few hours after the bombing, that the bombing was a “diabolic act” and that its perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted for the offense.

Communications experts in the MoTC-BARMM said on Tuesday that they are ready to help the MSU administration design a digital mobile phone emergency contact and reply system with the help of private telecommunications giants.

“That can be our small contribution to the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region now doing its best to solve that deadly incident that made us very sad,” a senior Bangsamoro telecommunications expert, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, told reporters on Tuesday morning.

Provincial offices of agencies under MoTC-BARMM, are located in Marawi City, the administrative seat of the Lanao del Sur provincial government.

Officials of the Bangsamoro Land Transportation Office and the Bangsamoro Land Transportation Regulatory and Franchising Board, both under MoTC-BARMM, said on Tuesday that their subordinates in Marawi City are now helping gather information on vehicles that entered and went out of the MSU campus before a powerful explosion ripped through the Dimaporo gymnasium.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., whose office is in Marawi City, on Tuesday, told reporters that they have facilitated the turnover to their families of the four fatalities in the bombing, Junrey T. Barbante, Evangeline S. Aromin, Janine S. Arenas, and Riza R. Daniel.

“Adequate Financial support shall be extended to their families for burial expenses. Our primary goal now is to locate the perpetrators of the bombing. We now have information about them, being processed by the security sectors,” Adiong said.

The two alleged bombers, Arseni Membisa and Wahab Macabayao are both ethnic Maranaws. They are both former henchmen of the slain founders of the long-decimated Maute terror group, the siblings Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute, according to moderate Muslim clerics in Butig town in Lanao del Sur, where the Maute terror group first hoisted the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Adiong, chairman of the Lanao del Sur Provincial Peace and Order Council, said that local executives in all of the municipalities under his administration and in Marawi City are helping trace the exact whereabouts of Membisa and Macabayao.


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