GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/03 February) — Security has been tightened in various parts of the city following the recovery on Sunday night of a live 60mm mortar round near a roadside community police outpost in the area.
Chief Insp. Edgar Yago, chief of the police station number 01 here, said Monday the mortar round was found at past 8 p.m. at the vicinity of its police box or outpost in Purok San Roque Silway in Barangay Dadiangas West.
Based on their initial investigation, he said the explosive was abandoned beside the police box by a child who found it near the area.
Yago said the child reportedly played with the explosive for several days before deciding to leave it at the police box.
“It’s a live mortar round and could explode or detonate if not handled properly,” the police official told reporters.
Yago said they were still determining the possible owner of the abandoned mortar round, which is similar to those attached in improvised bombs that exploded in Maguindanao province last week.
The official refused to link the recovery of the mortar round to the bombing incidents in Maguindanao that were believed to be the handiwork of splinter group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
“It’s a plain mortar round and there were no attached materials like those in improvised explosive devices,” he said.
Authorities earlier placed this city and other areas of Region 12 under heightened alert in the wake of the “law enforcement operations” launched by government forces against members and leaders of the BIFF in Maguindanao.
Chief Supt. Lester Camba, Region 12 police director, said the move is a precautionary measure against possible diversionary attacks being planned in the area by the BIFF and its allied armed groups.
The official said they are specifically monitoring possible movements of the BIFF in parts of Maasim, Kiamba and Maitum towns in Sarangani Province and other areas of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and North Cotabato. (MindaNews)