KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Apr. 19 (PIA) -- City government here has stepped up security measures in its urban center against terror threats.
Following the twin improvised explosive device blast in Tacurong City on Monday evening, Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista ordered the City Philippine National Police Station and the Public Safety Office to further intensify its bomb awareness campaign, Oplan Paalala, especially in the urban center.
The bomb awareness campaign that took off during the celebration of the Holy Week, has police patrol with a public announcement system roaming around the city reminding the residents to be extra careful and be vigilant against terror threats.
Mayor Evangelista’s call for an increased security measures also came after Kidapawan City figured in an intelligence report as targets of bombing plot. The same report also named other cities in SOCCSKSARGEN Region as targets of the plot.
Evangelista called on the public to take the threats seriously.
“Immediately report to authorities suspicious persons and unattended bags in your villages and public places,” he said, advising them to immediately keep a distance from suspected IEDs.
On Monday, two IEDs exploded at the Dragon Mart along the national highway in Barangay New Isabela in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat province and wounded 15 persons, including 3 army soldiers, 3 police officers and 9 civilians.
According to a report from the Tacurong City PNP, the first IED exploded inside the comfort room of Dragon Mart at 6: 45 p.m. The second went off outside the store at 7:10 p.m. when emergency responders were already in the area.
Listed as wounded in the incident report were the following:
1. Logen Presaldo, 42, AFP
2. Ramil Garde, AFP
3. Alvin Jimenez, 44, AFP
4. Danica ila Ballaran, 14, student, Brgy. San Pablo, Tacurong City
5. Reymart del Rosario, 21, student, Brgy. Calean, Tacurong City
6. Saulsauto Manoy, 47, CDRRMC
7.Joseph Liba, 33, driver, Brgy. San Pablo, Tacurong City
8. Leo Cueva, 34, teacher, Tantangan, South Cotabato
9. Roger Bamo, 47, ambulance driver, Brgy. New Isabela, Tacurong City
10. P02 Gerard Martin San Pedro
11. SPO2 Jasper Garcia
12. Micheal Pon
13. P01 Eleazar Sustiguer
14. Ryan Omar Ali, 27, Brgy. Poblacion, Tacurong City
15. Richard Piñeda, 36, tinsmith , Brgy. New Isabela, Tacurong City.
According to Sultan Kudarat provincial social welfare and development officer Henry Albano, the provincial government has already extended P10,000 aid to each of the blast victims while the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the city government of Tacurong will foot the bill for their hospitalization.
In a separate interview, PSupt. Romeo Galgo, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 12 confirmed that full alert is observed in all cities of Region 12 due to terror threat.
Galgo said local peace and order councils need to implement security measures to ensure safety of their respective residents as police and military units prepare to respond to any contingency. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with report from LKOasay-Kidapawan City Information Office)