2 IEDs defused in S. Kudarat highway

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 23 Nov) – Bomb experts defused using water disruptors two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) recovered inside the baggage compartment of a motorcycle abandoned along the national highway in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat this morning.

Supt. Roel Sermese, chief of Isulan Police, said a bystander saw the Bajaj motorcycle near the round ball along the Poblacion. When they allegedly checked the vehicle, they found inside the baggage compartment the two IEDs, one fashioned from an 81mm mortar and the other from a 60mm mortar.

They immediately sought assistance from the Explosives and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Sultan Kudarat province, who then defused the IEDs around 10:30 a.m.

Sermese said they have yet to determine the motive and the group who planted the IEDs.

The police are also studying the possibility that the bombs were planted to inflict harm on those who visited the massacre site in Barangay Masalay, Ampatuan town in Maguindanao.

During last year’s anniversary of what is now called the Ampatuan Massacre, when the group of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu visited the site to commemorate the deaths of 58 people, including his wife and relatives, two IEDs planted along the highway to Maguindanao were recovered and defused by bomb experts.

Despite the recovery of the IEDs, media and other support groups were expected to continue the mock funeral the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in this city earlier planned as their way of commemorating the murders, considered the most heinous attack on media.

The NUJP said three coffins made of cardboards would be paraded along the national highway as symbol of their continuing quest for justice.

With NUJP in the commemoration of the third anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre are members of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, National Union Students of the Philippines, Gabriela-North Cotabato, Kabataan party-list, Justice for Pops Movement (JPM), and support groups from private institutions.

“We will never forget this day. If during our time, justice would still be elusive, then the next generation should continue the fight. That’s why we’re joined by the youth in our activity,” said Gabriela Cotabato coordinator Ruby Padilla-Sison, also convener of the JPM. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)