NorCot guv, rep. offer aid to families of Mlang victims

KIDAPAWAN CITY -– The provincial government will shoulder the burial expenses of three teenagers who died in a bomb attack in Mlang, North Cotabato on Nov. 23.North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Mendoza and Rep. Jose Tejada (3rd district, North Cotabato) decided to help the bereaved families in sending their loved one to their resting place after a brief visit to the families of Rolence John Camiring, Jade Villarin and Francis Rio.

Mendoza said financial aid will also be provided to the 25 who were wounded in a blast at the billiard hall near the Mlang town plaza.

Mendoza, after meeting with the victims’ families, appealed to the people of North Cotabato to remain vigilant and help authorities prevent terrorism.

The governor told reporters she felt the pain of losing a child violently after meeting with the mothers of slain teenagers.

Earlier, Mendoza directed the North Cotabato police office to dig deeper and fast tract the investigation to give justice to the fatalities and to those who were wounded.

Two men riding in tandem on a motorbike arrived at the billiard hall, located just across the Rizal Monument and town plaza of Mlang at about 7 p.m. on Nov. 23.

One of them carry a dilapidated back pack. They entered the billiard hall where a local tournament was on going.

According to a witness, one of the two sat at a wooden bench and briefly watched the billiard tournament. Later, he quietly left, leaving his bag on the bench.

He boarded a yellow Yamaha motorbike driven by a companion and sped away. In less than a minute, the bag went off.

About 40 people mill around the billiard hall watching the tournament at the time the blast occurred.

Police said the improvised bomb was fashioned from an 81 mm mortar with mobile phone as trigger mechanism. Police said the bomber could be member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a Moro rebel group in Maguindanao. However, police are yet to gather more evidence to pin the blame on the BIFF.

An Army officer said the Mlang blast and the Kabacan blast on Nov. 16 that left one dead and 16 others wounded, have similar features and common as handiwork of the BIFF. (PNA)

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