3 Marawi evacuees among casualties in Cotabato City blast

Published January 4, 2019, 3:21 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Ali Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – Three Maranaws who sought refuge in this city to engage in sidewalk vending for survival after the 2017 siege in Marawi City were among the casualties in the bombing at a mall here on New Year’s eve.

Bai Sandra Sema (Photo by Rocky Nazareno | Manila Bulletin)
Rep. Sandra Sema (Photo by Rocky Nazareno | Manila Bulletin)

Maguindanao (1st District) Rep. Sandra Sema found out the sad plight of the three Maranaw refugees when she, together with other cause-oriented groups, responded and visited hospitals here where most of the 37 injured victims in the Dec. 31 explosion have been undergoing treatments from shrapnel wounds.

The lady solon, popularly known here as “Bai Sandra,” said the wounded Maranaw refugees are “a father, his mother, and a 10-year old daughter.”

“They (Maranaw evacuees) who became vendors (in Cotabato City) are among the bomb victims who are still in the hospital. They are victims of evil plotters who want to perpetuate fear and are inhuman as to cause this terror,” said Sema.

Sema has reportedly offered to shoulder all hospital expenses of the wounded Maranaw refugees and partly of other blast victims in different hospitals.

She became more empathic about the refugees’ fate upon learning that the minor evacuee’s name is “Bai Sandra,” her namesake.

Sema posted some photos of the blast victims on her Facebook account.

Netizen Saada Masukat said: Kawawa naman talaga. Di ako maka move-on. Sinakay nya sarili nya sa motor na grabe ang dugo. Diko naiwasan mapaluha.” She was referring to the Maranaw vendor-father.

Two persons were killed and 27 others were injured in the Dec. 31 explosion, which investigators initially traced to an improvised explosive device (IED) planted at the entrance of the Southseas mall along Don Rufino Alonzo St. here. The blast site was occupied by mostly firecracker vendors, including the Maranaw evacuees.

The two fatalities were identified as Jonathan Torribiano, the official driver of Bangsamoro Transition Commission’s Commissioner Melanio Ulama, and Marriam Ulama Cali, a female ethnic Muslim Maguindanaon.

Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, 6ID commander, said the task force was looking into the incident as a possible “revenge” case by bomb-makers from the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

He said the BIFF lost four combatant-members in recent covert operations by 6ID field operatives in three adjacent towns of Maguindanao.

The BIFF has splintered into three factions, two of which had pledged allegiance to the ISIS cause and allied with the remnants of the Maute group’s Dawlah Islamiya that led the May 23, 2017 siege in Marawi City, it was learned.

 
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3 Marawi evacuees among casualties in Cotabato City blast

Published January 4, 2019, 8:11 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ali Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – Three Maranaws who sought refuge in this city to engage in sidewalk vending for survival after the 2017 siege in Marawi City were among the casualties in the bombing at a mall here on New Year’s eve.

Bombing incident at a mall in Cotabato City (Ferdinand Cabrera / MANILA BULLETIN)
Bombing incident at a mall in Cotabato City (Ferdinand Cabrera / MANILA BULLETIN)

Maguindanao (1st District) Rep. Sandra Sema found out the sad plight of the three Maranaw refugees when she, together with other cause-oriented groups, responded and visited hospitals here where most of the 37 injured victims in the Dec. 31 explosion have been undergoing treatments from shrapnel wounds.

The lady solon, popularly known here as “Bai Sandra,” said the wounded Maranaw refugees are “a father, his mother, and a 10-year old daughter.”

“They (Maranaw evacuees) who became vendors (in Cotabato City) are among the bomb victims who are still in the hospital. They are victims of evil plotters who want to perpetuate fear and are inhuman as to cause this terror,” said Sema.

Sema has reportedly offered to shoulder all hospital expenses of the wounded Maranaw refugees and partly of other blast victims in different hospitals.

She became more empathic about the refugees’ fate upon learning that the minor evacuee’s name is “Bai Sandra,” her namesake.

Sema posted some photos of the blast victims on her Facebook account.

Netizen Saada Masukat said: Kawawa naman talaga. Di ako maka move-on. Sinakay nya sarili nya sa motor na grabe ang dugo. Diko naiwasan mapaluha.” She was referring to the Maranaw vendor-father.

Two persons were killed and 27 others were injured in the Dec. 31 explosion, which investigators initially traced to an improvised explosive device (IED) planted at the entrance of the Southseas mall along Don Rufino Alonzo St. here. The blast site was occupied by mostly firecracker vendors, including the Maranaw evacuees.

The two fatalities were identified as Jonathan Torribiano, the official driver of Bangsamoro Transition Commission’s Commissioner Melanio Ulama, and Marriam Ulama Cali, a female ethnic Muslim Maguindanaon.

Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, 6ID commander, said the task force was looking into the incident as a possible “revenge” case by bomb-makers from the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

He said the BIFF lost four combatant-members in recent covert operations by 6ID field operatives in three adjacent towns of Maguindanao.

The BIFF has splintered into three factions, two of which had pledged allegiance to the ISIS cause and allied with the remnants of the Maute group’s Dawlah Islamiya that led the May 23, 2017 siege in Marawi City, it was learned.

 
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