The victims were identified as Roy Catedral Oriendo, 33, of M’lang, North Cotabato; Rey Eldwin Billenerio Jospital, of Tupi, South Cotabato; Rigor John Camiño Calawod, 19, of Polomolok, South Cotabato; and Eduardo Besiño Elegino, 18, of Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.
Elegino told investigators that a passenger wearing short pants who boarded the bus in Bukidnon could have left the bag containing the bomb.
When a passenger alighted from the bus at the Rural Transit terminal in Kabacan the bus driver noticed that he did not bring with him any baggage. He then asked the conductor to check if the passenger had left something behind.
Elegino, who was three seats away from the package, told the driver that the passenger had left something at the back.
They even joked at each other that it might be a bomb, Elijano said.
Minutes later, while the bus was traversing the national highway in Kabacan, a bomb exploded.
Chief Insp. Frank Anito, chief of Kabacan police, said extortion could be the motive behind the blast.
In Iligan City, bombs today exploded on both sides of Agus Bridge destroying parts of its steel beams and leaving a crack that could make it collapse anytime. (See separate story.)
The bridge, which connects Iligan City to Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and the Zamboanga provinces, has been rendered unsafe for passage. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)