Village leader preempts blast in North Cotabato

PIGCAWAYAN, North Cotabato (MindaNews/20 January) — A village leader prevented a bombing attempt here by quickly reporting to the nearest police detachment, about 12 hours after another improvised bomb went off in Kabacan town, also in North Cotabato.

Senior Inspector Donald Gabico, Pigcawayan police chief, said an improvised bomb was found by Barangay South Manuangan purok leader Godofredo Piala left by two men on a motorbike at a roadside at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Piala asked the two men why they left the sack at the roadside but they quickly fled.  This prompted Piala to check on the sack and found it contained a mortar, a cellphone and electrical wiring.

He immediately alerted the police detachment about 100 meters away.

After confirming it was an IED, Gabico said bomb experts detonated the bomb at past 8 am. The highway linking Cotabato City and Davao City was shut down for about two hours.

About 12 hours earlier, a cashier of a restaurant inside Kabacan public market saw a man hurriedly leave after putting a huge cellophane containing merchandize in one of the market stalls and hurriedly.

She checked the cellophane and saw that it contained concrete nails, a cellphone and chemical concealed with rice, cream bread and other items.

She told the market guard who in turn alerted the police.

Chief Inspector Ernor Mergalejo, Kabacan police chief said, the bomb went off while bomb experts were about to disarm it at 6 p.m. Monday.  No one was hurt as the area had been evacuated.

No one has claimed responsibility for the twin bombing attempts.

Earlier, two separate bombing incidents occurred in Pikit, North Cotabato that toppled down two transmission towers of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and sent Maguindanao, parts of North Cotabato and Cotabato City into darkness. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)