KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/26 Jan) – Cotabato Governor Lala Mendoza has renewed calls to deploy armed marshals inside buses plying the
province to prevent a repeat of last year’s bus bombing in Matalam town and the similar recent incident in Makati City.
Eleven people died in the Matalam bombing and five in Makati.
“Without bus marshals, commuters of passenger vehicles like buses and vans become vulnerable to lawless groups’ attacks,” said Mendoza.
The lady governor first pushed for the deployment of bus marshals after a powerful improvised explosive device went off inside a Rural Transit bus October 21 last year.
She said the attack on a Newman Goldliner bus in Makati City last Tuesday was proof that even outside North Cotabato, passenger vehicles
are extremely at risk to lawless attacks.
“These are remarkably troublesome times that call for bold and highly-determined counteroffensives to protect commuters and repel
potential threats,” Mendoza stressed.
Bus marshals, she said, “will detect, deter, and suppress hostile acts of terror groups that target passenger buses, terminals, and other
She proposed that marshals undergo rigid training.
“They should be able to operate individually without any backup, and possess the highest standard for handgun precision. They should
integrate with commuters and rely on extraordinary training in criminal behavior recognition, firearms proficiency, close quarters
combat techniques, bus-specific tactics, and investigative methods,” she explained.
The marshal service, she added, is a clear-cut countermeasure to the increasing number of terrorists, armed robbers and extortionists
preying on buses.
“Right now, our law enforcers lack strategy to respond to the mounting threats to public safety in buses, except to idly wait for the next
attack, and then try to run after the perpetrators after,” lamented Mendoza. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)