NBI probes bus bombings in Mindanao

Published June 9, 2022, 8:15 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

National Bureau of Investigation (2)

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said it has begun probing the series of bomb attacks on buses in Mindanao.

In a statement, the NBI aid “the bureau’s probe on the series of bombings is directed at ensuring national security as well as preventing possible major attacks not only in Mindanao but also in the entire country.”

It said that NBI Officer-in-Charge Director Eric B. Distor, Deputy Director for Forensic Investigation Service (DDFIS) Ferdinand Lavin, and Deputy Director for Intelligence Service (DDIntS) Roel Bolivar have already travelled to the “areas of concern in Mindanao” for the investigation.

With them were members of the NBI-Counter Terrorism Division (NBI-CTD), it also said.

“There are already six (6) bombings attacks on buses in Mindanao in the last two years,” the NBI said.

The NBI noted that the series of bombing incidents could have started on Jan. 7, 2021, when Yellow Bus Line, Inc. (YBLI) in Koronadal City, South Cotabato office received a call of a bomb threat and extortion demand.

Acting on the threat, police found from a YBLI bus at the Kidapawan, Cotabato Overland Terminal with an improvised explosive device (IED) which was rendered safe.

“Footage taken from the YBL Bus no. 2688 CCTV camera showed two male passengers leaving the IED inside the bus,” the NBI said.

Thereafter, it said, two YBLI buses were bombed on Jan. 27, 2021 at a stop over at the National Highway, Crossing Sibsib, Tulunan, North Cotabato and on June 3, 2021 at M’Lang, North Cotabato,

One person was killed and four were hurt in the explosion on Jan. 27, 2021, while, there were three individuals killed and six injured in the June 3, 2021 blast.

“This year, four (4) bus bombings occurred in separate locations in Mindanao,” the NBI said.

These were the January 11 bombing of a Mindanao Star bus in Aleosan, North Cotabato where a five-year-old boy died and three persons injured; the April 24 explosion inside a Rural Tours Bus in Parang, Maguindanao with at least three passengers injured; and the May 26 bombing of a YBLI bus in Koronadal City that wounded two civilians, it said.

It added that the fourth incident was the “May 26 roadside explosion at the Exit Road, Barangay Calean, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat” but “no one was hurt in the incident.”