By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu – Reporter / @GabrielLaluINQINQUIRER.net / 03:08 PM May 31, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — Investigators will look deeper into the two explosions in Isabela City, Basilan to uncover the people behind it, the Philippine National Police (PNP) assured the public.
In a statement on Tuesday, PNP said a post-blast investigation is being conducted to identify what kind of explosive was used, and who may be behind the said incidents.
“The PNP is conducting a post blast investigation on the 2 explosions recorded in Isabela City, Basilan on May 30,” the PNP Public Information Office (PNP-PIO) said in a message to reporters.
“This is an extensive probe that will ultimately identify the culprit of the said incidents. We would like to assure the public that the PNP is on top of this. We enjoin everyone to be extra vigilant and report immediately any suspicious individuals and/or activities that you may notice in your environment,” it added.
According to the PNP, the first explosion happened at around 5:45 p.m., near the parking area of a fast food chain in Isabela’s Barangay Isabela Proper. While properties sustained damage, no one was injured from the explosion.
Initially, local reports said that the explosion may have been caused by a faulty electrical wiring, but PNP said in its report on Tuesday that closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras showed a man wearing a yellow T-shirt and a cap leaving a small container inside a cellophane wrapper.
The small container exploded later on.
READ: Blasts in Basilan city hurt two people, damaged some properties
Another explosion, at around 6:15 p.m., was recorded at the garage of a bus liner in Isabela’s Barangay La Piedad.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao said that a security officer interviewed by local cops said that he saw a box of alcoholic drinks in the area, which eventually exploded.
It was supposedly left by a passenger who boarded the bus.
“A duty guard was interviewed by our personnel and he narrated that he noticed a box of an alcoholic beverage in the area. Suddenly, it exploded. Apparently, the box was left by a passenger who boarded one of the bus units,” Danao said.
“The post blast investigation will now determine the composition of explosives used. Our investigators are doubling time to identify the culprit of these two incidents and to establish the possible connection of both,” he added.
One Isuzu Canter closed van and three bus units were badly damaged, while two individuals were injured due to the second blast. Both were rushed to the hospital and are currently in stable condition.
The explosion comes on the heels of supposedly twin bombings in Koronadal, South Cotabato, and Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat.
Just recently, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) vowed to enforce stricter security measures and increased police visibility across Metro Manila following the said incident, where a bus in Koronadal and the terminal in Tacurong, were bombed.
Despite PNP looking at extortion as a possible motive for targeting the bus liner, Danao said on Monday that they are looking also at unvalidated reports stating that the bombing was a terrorist attack.
During his briefing on Monday, Danao revealed that the owners of the bus that was bombed in Koronadal were subjected to extortion attempts from a particular group.