Police eye extortion in Kabacan roadside blast

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/24 October) — Police investigators were looking at extortion as the possible motive for the roadside bomb attack in Kabacan, North Cotabato that injured a female passenger Monday morning, an official said.

Supt. Joseph Semillano, Kabacan police chief, said the blast at 6:55 a.m. in Barangay Kayaga could have been intended for a Rural Transit Bus from Cagayan de Oro en route to Tacurong City.

He identified the injured as Nuñezca, 19, 2nd year agriculture student at the University of Southern Mindanao and a resident of Carmen, North Cotabato. She suffered a minor injury from a broken glass window.

Nuñezca was on board Rural Transit Bus with body number 2950 and plate number AVS 144 when the bomb exploded, he added.

He said the explosive was fashioned from a mortar and attached to a mobile phone as triggering device.

It was planted along the junction road, which is about two kilometers from the Rural Bus terminal, he added.

Semillano said they have tightened the security at the bus terminal following the explosion.

But the police office declined to name suspects pending results of the investigation.

He said this was the fifth incident involving a Rural Transit bus within North Cotabato province in recent years.

In October last year, 10 people were killed and several others injured when a bomb exploded inside a Rural Transit bus while cruising Matalam town en route to Tacurong City from Cagayan de Oro City.

It just came from a stopover in Kabacan town. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews, with a report from Malu Cadelina Manar)