City in full alert

POLICE and military yesterday placed the city in full alert status after the two explosions hit Tacurong City in South Cotabato on Monday night.

Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum, Davao City Police Office director, told TIMES that he already directed his station commanders and other unit heads to raise their alert status to preempt possible threats that may enter into the city.

“We are already on full alert,” Tagum said, adding that all threat groups could sow terror in the city.

He said police officers are already conducting tightened mobile and foot patrol and checkpoints.

Echoing Tagum’s order, Task Force Davao commander Erwin Bernard Neri said he also directed his troopers to tighten the security checkpoints in the entry and exit points of the city.

“Everyone should be on alert,” Col. Neri said. “We must always be alert and vigilant at all times.”

Neri said they are validating information that terror groups are planning to include the city in its bombing target.

“Whether it is positive or not, we are still on heightened alert to ensure the safety and security of the people of the city,” Neri said.

At least eight persons – including three policemen and two soldiers — were reportedly wounded when two improvised explosive device (IED) exploded at Dragon Mart and Gasoline Station in Purok Ilang-ilang, Barangay New Isabela, Tacurong City on Monday night.

The first explosion hit the rooftop of a comfort room inside gasoline station at 6:45 p.m.

While agents of the Tacurong police, the Task Force Talakudong, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the 33rd explosive ordnance team were conducting investigation, another explosion hit in front of the gasoline station at 7:10 p.m. Aside from wounding members of the investigating team and civilians, the blast also damaged parked motorbikes and a vehicle.

Among those wounded were identified as S/Sgt. Ipil Presaldo, S/Sgt. Menzo Manoy, SPO2 Jasper Garcia, PO2 Martin San Pedro and PO1 Eleazar Sustiguer.

Meanwhile, in a Bombo Radyo Koronadal report, members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) allegedly met with other terrorist groups to plan the conduct of bombing in different areas of Mindanao, including Davao city.

The BIFF group reportedly meet with the Maute Terror Group, Abu Sayyaff Group, and other recruit of Jemmaah Islamiyah in Barangay Kitango, Datu Piang, Maguindanao.

Reportedly, the Maute group was tasked to do the bombing in Davao City. It was the Maute group who was tagged in the Sept. 2 Roxas Night Market bombing that killed 15 persons and injured 69 others.

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