Mayor Onofre Respicio said the bomb, an improvised electronic device, was made from the ammunition of an 81mm mortar, apparently similar to the one that exploded at the public market of Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat some eight hours earlier. Four persons were injured in the Tacurong blast.
Initial reports indicated 12 persons were killed but DXND radio station went around the hospitals and confirmed the death of only six: Wilfredo Singson, 53, of Barangay Saguing in Makilala; Romeo Pamugas, 27, of Villaflores also in Makilala; Lingling Tajantajan of Makilala; Jerilyn Parba, 24, of Kidapawan City; Nelson Toralba of Ecoland, Davao City and Honey Grace Gomez.
Initial reports also said 42 persons were injured. Thirty-two were injured.
Although the closing program for the festivities in Makilala was held at noon, people were still roaming the municipal hall area because of the attractions set up temporarily for the celebration, like ukay-ukay” (surplus clothes) shops, cafeterias and others.
The local police still could not pinpoint suspects, but Onofre said he earlier received a text message that various places in the region would be bombed.
In Tacurong, city police chief, Supt. Joel Limson, said Chita Magon, 33, of Tantangan, South Cotabato was in critical condition.
Also injured were Helen Mendoza, 20, of President Quirino in Sultan Kudarat and Bella Bantoco, 36 of Esperanza, also in Sultan Kudarat. Yet another victim, Isabel Mariano, did not need hospitalization for his minor wounds, Limson said.
Quoting witnesses, Limson said that the explosive, patterned after a mortar ammunition, was left by a 20-year-old male with medium built who reportedly has two other companions, one a female.
Police said the bomb was equipped with an improvised battery-operated blasting mechanism.
One of the witnesses, a stall owner, sought the help of a security guard at the market to check on the box. Sensing danger, the guard brought the carton in one of safe areas inside the public market near the public rest room. Two minutes later, the bomb exploded.
“If the guard was not sharp-witted, the bomb could have exploded in an area where there were too many people. That could have resulted to a number of injuries,” said Limson.
Limson said they are not discounting the possible involvement of the Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah militant group.
Allan Freno, Tacurong information officer, said that before the explosion, the city has been receiving bomb threats, driving police to be on alert. He said it was fortunate that the bomb exploded not on a busy market day, like tomorrow (Wednesday).
North Cotabato Governor Emmanuel Pinol and Mayor Lino Montilla condemned the attacksand urged their constituents to be more vigilant to prevent more attacks in the city. (Williamor A. Magbanua and Malu Cadelina-Manar)
List of those who were injured in the Makilala blast. This list does not have the names of two more victims.
1. Edwin Cordoncillo, Makilala
2. Angelo Paquira, Makilala
3. Edelyn Tajan-tajan, Makilala
4. Reynaldo Rosales, Toril in Davao City
5. Loisa Tajan-tajan, Makilala
6. Isidro Salupan, Calinan in Davao City
7. Ryan Rosales, Toril in Davao City
8. Jodifer Palgan, Makilala
9. Ruvelyn Enorme
10. Cora Emboc
11. Victorino Edulantes, Makilala
12. Roland Tuadles, Makilala
13. Jimmy Garciano, Makilala
14. Josie Dingal, Makilala
15. Julio Caliao, Makilala
16. Ruben Panerio, Makilala
17. Samuel Sapay, Makilala
18. Rene Villamor, Makilala
19. Mary Joy Panerio, Makilala
20. Jeffrey Batican, Makilala
21. Alfredo Castro
22. Aniana Ramil
23. Aquilino Renegado
24. Jay Anthony Casile
25. Rene Villano
26. Marcial Pasco
27. Vicente Murillo
28. Lilybeth Dabon
29. Jaime Dabon
30. Alfredo castro