The company last month announced it would stop serving that route starting April 1 due to security threats and extortion problems.
Eddie Soledad, manager of the Peoples' Transport, the lone interprovincial bus company
operating in North Cotabato, said on March 29 that their buses would ply only the Davao City to Kabacan in North Cotabato route.
The management’s decision affected thousands of commuters along the 86-kilometer Kabacan to Cotabato City route — from the Maguindanao towns of Pagalungan and Datu Montawal, North Cotabato towns of Pikit, Aleosan, Midsayap, Libungan, Pigcawayan and Pigcalagan; Sultan Kudarat in Shariff Kabunsuan (formerly Maguindanao) and Cotabato City.
Cotabato City passengers bound for Kabacan or the cities of Kidapawan, Digos and Davao, are now using other means of transportation – vans or jeeps – to Kabacan. Passengers bound for Kidapawan, Digos and Davao cities from the affected Cotabato City to Kabacan route, can take the bus only from Kabacan.
Davao City passengers bound for Cotabato City have to stop in Kabacan and take another means of transport to Cotabato City.
The management claimed they had to decide on the suspension because they were losing millions of pesos due to these lawless acts.
On Saturday night, three buses owned by the same company were damaged when an improvised explosive device went off inside a public terminal in Midsayap, North Cotabato.
Authorities claimed extortion could be possibly the motive behind the recent attack.
The exploded IED was fashioned from 60-mm mortar.
Rodrigo Valdevieso, owner of the Weena fleet, also believes that extortion was behind the blast in Midsayap town.
Valdevieso told dxMS Radio for Peace in Cotabato City that before the blast, he received a call from an unidentified person warning him not to resume their trips to Cotabato City.
The blast did not discourage the bus company from resuming operations.
Commuters in North Cotabato lauded the company’s decision to resume operations. (MindaNews)