Cops, soldiers secure Tacurong City after bus bombing

The entire area of Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat has been placed under highest security alert status following a bus bombing on Sunday, Nov. 6, that left one passenger dead and 11 others injured.

Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said additional police and military forces were deployed in Tacurong City and nearby areas as part of the security measures.

"The Philippine National Police condemns in the strongest terms the shameful attack on civilians on board a passenger bus in Tacurong City. This was a handiwork of criminal minds," said Azurin in a statement.

"The entire capital city of Sultan Kudarat province has been placed under tight security watch while police and military security forces fanned out across the city to find leads and step-up pursuit operations against the authors of this latest episode of senseless violence," he added.

An improvised explosive device ripped through a passenger bus operated by the Yellow Bus Company while it was approaching the terminal at around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in Barangay Calean Tacurong City.

Police are conducting an investigation to determine the motive, including extortion.

Based on the report, this was the third time a bus owned by the same company was planted with an IED this year alone.

Azurin said the local policemen were tasked to ensure that there is no more threat of any similar attack.

"We do not want to make premature conclusions as to the motive and suspects behind this crime without the benefit of evidence-based investigation, but we are not discounting the possibilities of historical data of criminal motive behind similar attacks in the past," said Azurin.

"We assure the people of Central Mindanao that the full might of the PNP and the government will be used to arrest these criminals so that justice will be served and the rule of law prevail," he added.