COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 29 Nov) – Seven personnel from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) serving as President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s advance party and two Army escorts were reported wounded after a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) hit the convoy of the elite security group while heading to Marawi City this morning, police and military reports said.
Chief Supt. Agripino Javier, police regional director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said they received report that a loud explosion believed to be from an IED was heard around 10:30 a.m. in Barangay Emie Punud, Marawi City.
“They were ambushed using an IED while traversing from Iligan City to Marawi City,” he said in a text message.
Armed Forces spokesperson Restituto Padilla said the convoy was composed of PSG personnel, RTVM, and Army escorts, all part of the advance party for President Rodrigo Duterte, who is set to visit Lanao del Sur on Wednesday.
There were no names of the injured yet as of press time.
Asked about the incident, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said he has no details yet on the attack, but he has information that President Duterte is scheduled to visit Army troops who are now fighting the rebels belonging to the Maute group, which is said to have links with ISIS.
The President, in his speech two days ago, named a certain Commander Bravo who he threatened to arrest for reportedly putting up his own government and giving protection to a drug syndicate.
It was not clear who the President was referring to, but the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) also has a Commander Bravo, the alias of Abdurahman Macapaar, who has led MILF attacks in Lanao del Norte in the 2000 and 2008 wars.
But Macapaar has lately expressed support for the peace process between the government and the MILF. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)