Security tightened in Koronadal as intelligence ops vs saboteurs heighten

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/29 June) — Intelligence monitoring has been heightened to thwart a possible bomb attack here following the discovery of an abandoned motorcycle at the back of the old city hall,  a police official said on Wednesday.

Inspector Rolly Oranza, intelligence chief of the city police office, said in a radio interview that based on intelligence reports, Koronadal is a “target of a bomb attack.”

Oranza revealted hreats of a bomb attack after a black motorcycle was found abandoned at the back of the old city hall office in the downtown area. A trained canine paused after sniffing the motorcycle, triggering suspicions an improvised explosive device was planted in the storage box.

He said bomb demolition experts set off a detonating device but later discovered that what was inside the storage box was only a .45 caliber bullet.

Last Monday, an explosion rocked the Commission on Audit office in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato. Later, authorities intercepted two improvised explosive devices in Esperanza town in Sultan Kudarat on board a passenger van.

Oranza thanked the unnamed concerned citizen who tipped off the police about the motorcycle parked there since Tuesday afternoon.

This city, the administrative seat of Region 12, was holding a tree-growing festival when the incident happened.

Malacanang had earlier declared Wednesday a holiday in deference to the tree-growing festival that aims to plant at least 100,000 seedlings in different parts of the locality, and break a Guinness world record.

A burst of firecrackers at the new city hall marked the start of the massive tree planting activities shortly before 10 am.

“This greening program is for our future generation,” Mayor Peter Miguel said just before the count down.

Next month, South Cotabato is celebrating its T’nalak festival, where many activities are lined up in this city, the provincial capital.

Ukay-ukay vendors have already set their wares on the street and many others are expected to mushroom as the July 18 T’nalak festival nears.

South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy, Jr. earlier asked the police and military to intensify their security measures in line with the celebration of the T’nalak festival. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)