From the Philippine News Agency (May 9): 4 cops hurt in Maguindanao roadside explosion
Four policemen were hurt when a roadside explosion hit their patrol car Tuesday morning in Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao, an official said.
Three of the police officers were in critical condition, according to Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police director. “We are following up a lead, we will not take this sitting down,” Tello said in a radio interview.
The police officers were heading to the Maguindanao police provincial office here when the roadside bomb, which was detonated using a cellular phone, went off at around 10:15 a.m., hitting their patrol car, Tello said.
Injured were Senior Police Officer 2 Mohammad Ampatuan, Police Officer 3 Ali Malok, Police Officer 3 Harim Ampatuan and P1 Norodin Olympain.
Although wounded, Olympain managed to drive the shrapnel-hit patrol car to the Maguindanao police provincial hospital here.
“They were to attend a command conference on anti-illegal drugs when the bombing happened,” Tello said.
He said among the suspects they are looking into are members of drug syndicates that the Rajah Buayan police had neutralized the past days.
He said they are also suspecting the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). The BIFF had been under air and ground assaults from the military in nearby Datu Salibo town in the past few days.
“This could be a diversionary tactic,” Tello said of the roadside bombing.
He urged the public to help the police identify those responsible in planting the improvised bomb.