KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 6 Aug) – Police in M’lang, North Cotabato has intensified their visibility, intelligence, monitoring, and other security measures after authorities recovered an improvised explosive device (IED) left by still unidentified suspects along the national highway as the town culminated its weeklong 67th founding day celebrations on Sunday.
Supt. Giovanni Ladeo, officer-in-charge of the M’lang municipal police station, said that right after the recovery, they conducted checkpoints during dawn and the time when people converge in public places.
“I don’t want to speculate on the motive but our assessment was, the suspects did the planting of the IED after the celebration. Our investigations would continue,” said Ladeo.
Ladeo said troops from the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion of the 6th Infantry Division are helping them secure the town from threat groups operating in the area.
Around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, bystanders saw two people leave a paper bag while walking along the highway in Magsaysay Street, Poblacion and upon checking the package they saw a mobile phone and electrical wires inside, police reports said.
Ladeo said he immediately sought the help of the operatives of the Explosives and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team of the Army, who had the bomb defused a few hours later.
M’lang Mayor Russel Abonado said the town’s security and order had been disturbed by bombing and other bomb-related incidents in the past.
“Our people in M’lang are already aware. We know our town’s history. There were several bombing incidents in the past,” said Abonado, adding that residents are always on alert, checking their environment. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)