7 injured in GenSan blast;  3rd blast in Region 12 in 3 weeks

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 16 Sept) — Seven persons, among them a six-year old girl, were wounded in a noontime explosion in nearby General Santos City on Sunday, authorities said.

Sunday’s bombing was the third in Region 12 since the August 28 and September 2 bombings in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat province left five persons dead and nearly 50 others injured.

Citing initial reports, Supt. Aldrin Gonzales, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-12,  said the explosion occurred at around 11:40 a.m. outside the TGP Generic Pharmacy at Crossing Makar in Barangay Labangal.

Gonzalez, in a text message, said the still unknown suspect placed the improvised explosive device beside the pharmacy.

The official said that investigations were underway to establish the motive and identify the suspects of the attack.

South Cotabato’s 1st district Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. urged the public to be vigilant in the wake of the explosion.

Acharon said the bombing appeared to “scare than to hurt people.”

Lawyer Arnel Zapatos, city administrator, said the victims were being treated at a local hospital for injuries.

Rushed to the St. Elizabeth Hospital for treatment of injuries were 19-year old Jessly Yrome Guyos, 34-year old Lally Jean Alipyo and six-year old Joanna Bless Alipyo — all of Polomolok in South Cotabatp; Filipa Regidor, 63, Marlon Arabia, 30, and Marlou Orabia Yadao — all of Apopong in General Santos City; and John Lenon Calong, 22, of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

General Santos City police chief Sr. Supt. Raul Supiter said the seven are in stable condition.

Powerful explosions rocked Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat on August 28 and September 2. The police and the military blamed the bombings on the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

The region was placed on full red alert following the lethal Isulan blasts.

Region 12 straddles the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)