ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat -– Police authorities here are investigating two men who left a powerful improvised explosive device left at a roadside while police, Army, fire and civil officials were to start a parade launching Fire Prevention Month Tuesday.
Supt. Joefel Siason, Isulan town police chief, refused to identify the two suspects, who were arrested by police after they left a black bag containing power IED fashioned from 81 mm mortar, circuit diagram, blasting caps, cut nails with two mobile phone as trigger mechanism.
”We are looking at two possible motives,” Siason told reporters. He said the target of the bomb attack could be Isulan Mayor Diosdado Pallasigue, who was participating in the parade or Sultan Kudarat Vice Governor Ernesto Matias.
Pallasigue is running for governor of Sultan Kudarat while Matias is seeking the mayorship of Isulan.
Pallasigue who is running under Liberal Party believed he was the target. “Who else but me and the parade participants,” he said, adding the IED was left about 15 meters from where the lead team was situated.
Siason said police investigators are also looking at an angle where the IED was intended for Matias because the area is regularly frequented by the governor.
The two male suspects, aged about 30 and 25 years old, were from Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao. They left the bag as the parade participants were approaching and hurriedly left. But police became suspicious of their acts so they chased the suspects. Responding villagers pounced on the two whose motorbike crashed at the road side before the police arrived and handcuffed them.
Siason said while bomb experts were checking on the bag, other police officers chased the suspects.
”The IED was very powerful. It could have killed more than 20 people had it exploded,” Pallasigue said.
Following the incident, police secured public places like bus, jeepney and tricycle terminals as well as public market and churches to thwart any attempt to destabilize the Isulan, the capital of Sultan Kudarat province. PNA/northboundasia.com