Cops pin hope on CCTV to track GenSan bomb suspects

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 November)––Authorities are hoping to track the suspects who left a powerful bomb Sunday night at a gasoline station here with the help of footages caught by a closed-circuit television camera, a police official said on Monday.

Senior Supt. Froilan Quidilla, city police chief, also declined to speculate on the motive behind the foiled bomb attack as investigation is still on going.

Quidilla said the Police Regional Office 12’s crime laboratory unit is now evaluating the makeup of the recovered explosive.

“They’re specifically determining whether its makeup was similar to the bomb that previously exploded in Cagayan de Oro City,” he said.

Last July, at least eight persons and 28 others were wounded in an explosion at the Limketkai Rosario Arcade. Many of the victims were physicians and medical representatives who attended the midyear convention of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians.

Quidilla said bomb experts safely defused the improvised bomb found near the fuel dispenser of Petron gas station along Pedro Acharon Boulevard here at around 7:50 p.m. Sunday.

He said the bomb, which was placed in a plastic bag, was made up of two live 60 mm mortar shells, electrical wires, a blasting cord and a mobile phone that serves as its triggering device.

“It’s fortunate that it was recovered early and immediately disrupted by our EOD (explosives and ordnance disposal) team,” Quidilla said.

Petrol pump attendant Joseph Pelaez told reporters that he initially noticed a white plastic bag that was left near one of their fuel dispensers.

He said they previously noticed two unidentified persons coming towards the fuel dispenser but separately left after a while.

“I noticed some protruding electrical wires when I checked the plastic bag so I called the attention of our security guard,” Pelaez said.

Duty guard Aaron Mercado said he immediately noticed the bomb-like components inside the plastic bag so he carried it away from the fuel dispenser.

“It was quite heavy, probably around two kilos,” he said.

After placing it in a nearby pathway, the security guard hastily left the area and reported the matter to the city police office.

Insp. Oliver Pauya, head of the city police’s EOD team, described the explosive’s makeup as crude but quite powerful.

“It could have killed or maimed persons within a 20-meter radius if it exploded,” he said.

Pauya stressed that the security guard should not have touched or moved the bomb after they found it near the fuel dispenser.

“Some explosives are motion-triggered and detonates by slight movement. The standard procedure is to immediately report the matter to the police for proper handling,” he said. (MindaNews)