Thursday, December 29, 2016

WATCH | BIFF eyed in Hilongos, Leyte blasts

InterAksyon (Dec 30): WATCH | BIFF eyed in Hilongos, Leyte blasts

Chairs and slippers scattered, a police line cordons off the area outside the boxing ring where local townsfolk were watching a tournament when two explosions occurred on the night of Dec. 28, 2016, injuring dozens. Photo supplied by Cpl Albert N. Tresve of the Philippine Army.

The two explosions Wednesday night that left 32 persons injured in Hilongos, Leyte, may be the handiwork of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, according to Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa on Thursday said this was one of the angles they are looking at since the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used in the blasts were crafted from 81-mm mortar cartridge and a cellphone was used as detonator.

Another angle is the retaliation of some militant Muslim groups against the local police for the arrest of Muslim suspects for car theft, illegal drugs and production of fake money.

Malacanang on Thursday said the public has no reason to be alarmed despite two explosions that rocked Leyte and North Cotabato Wednesday night.

"It’s an area of concern but not alarming," Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

The Leyte bombing happened at around 9 p.m. at the plaza of Hilongos town while about 500 people are watching an amateur boxing match as part of the town fiesta activities.

An hour later, another IED went off beside the national highway in Barangay Bagangan in Aleosan, North Cotabato, injuring six persons on board a 10-wheeler truck.

Asked why people should not be alarmed, Abella said no groups have claimed responsibility for the bombings.

"So we cannot pinpoint any specific area or person responsible," he said.

The Palace official also downplayed speculations that the two bombing incidents might lead to the declaration of martial law by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"These are not indicators at that context of being set up for, let’s say, declaration of martial law," he said.

Abella also explained that Hilongos is not area that has been the subject to threats like bombings.

He said the authorities are investigating the twin bombings which happened five days after unidentified persons threw a hand grenade near Sto. Nino Parish church, injuring 12 people in Midsayap, North Cotabato.

[Video report]

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