?Highest’ alert level raised in Davao ? Duterte

Duterte noted that the city was not a target of the bombing but “security forces are doing whatever imaginable thing possible to keep it safe.”

Six people were killed and 32 wounded when bomb exploded in Makilala, North Cotabato Wednesday evening. Four were also wounded when a bomb exploded in Tacurong City at noon. A bomb also exploded in Cotabato City Wednesday noon but there were no reported injuries.     

Duterte, who chairs the Regional Peace and Order Council of Southeastern Mindanao, said they will not reveal any suspect as  yet because investigation is still ongoing.

"It is dangerous to speculate as of now," Duterte said. "We just have to wait for the results of the investigations," he told a press conference.

North Cotabato Governor Emmanuel Pinol said the bombs made of  81-mm mortar is “signature MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). The MILF has denied this (see separate story).

Duterte does not share Pinol’s view. “I think the MILF can help in lessening the violence,” he said as he cited efforts to break the impasse in the peace talks with government.

Col. Eduardo del Rosario, commander of the Army's Task Force Davao, said they have  beefed up security measures such as checkpoint operations and raised security measures for vital facilities.

In 2003, President Arroyo appointed Duterte as a crisis manager amid bombing  incidents in Southeastern and Southwestern Mindanao. The spate of bombings led to the creation of the Task Force Davao, a counter-terrorist unit under the Army.

A bomb exploded on March 4 that year in an airport waiting shed here and at the waiting shed of Sasa wharf on April 2. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)