Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Alert farmer foils another bombing attempt in North Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 20): Alert farmer foils another bombing attempt in North Cotabato

PIGCAWAYAN, North Cotabato -- A farmer walking at a road side in a remote village here to bring his cow to the field had the greatest discovery in his life, a deadly improvised explosive device (IED).

Godofredo Piala, purok leader of Barangay South Manuangan, Pigcawayan, found a sack at a road side left by two men riding tandem on a motorbike.

Aware of the bombing threats in North Cotabato, Piala became suspicious of the sack so he took a glimpse of it and found a mortar, a cellphone and electrical wiring inside.

Then he turned around to inform the two men about the thing they left near the quarry site, but the two had sped away.

Again Piala took another look at the sack and told himself it could be a bomb. With his cow following him, Piala reported his discovery to the police detachment some 200 meters away.

Senior Inspector Donald Gabico, Pigcawayan police chief, said the improvised explosive device (IED) was left at a roadside about 6 p.m.

Due to the presence of the explosive at the road linking Cotabato City and Davao City, police shut down the highway until bomb experts detonated the IED at past 8 a.m.

The alert purok (sub-village) leader said he became suspicious of the two men on a motorbike standing across the street where he was to leave his cow.

When asked, the two men told him they were urinating. When the two men appeared to be leaving, Piala informed them of the sack they unloaded in the area.

"They quickly sped away so I became even more suspicious and looked at the suspected bomb again," he said, adding that he quickly alerted the police.

Gabico said the IED could be intended for other areas but the suspects balked after seeing police officers were conducting inspection at a checkpoint about 200 meters away.

"The presence of police officers at the checkpoint forced the suspects to abandon the IED," Gabico told Radio Station DXMS.

It was the fourth bombing attempt in North Cotabato this month. Two of them occurred separately in Pikit town that toppled down two transmission towers and one in Kabacan public market Monday night.

More checkpoints have been set up in North Cotabato, especially along the Cotabato City-Davao national highway to prevent similar incidents.


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