GenSan, Midsayap police chiefs relieved over weekend bombings

MANILA The chiefs of police in General Santos City and Midsayap, North Cotabato were relieved following bombings in the areas over the weekend, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde confirmed Monday.

Relieved were General Santos City Police Office station head Police Chief Insp. Patrich A. Elma and Midsayap Municipal Police Station Chief Police Supt. Samuel T. Cadungon.

Elma will be replaced by Police Senior Insp. Davis V. Dulawan while Cadungon will be replaced by Police Supt. Joan M. Maganto.

Speaking to newsmen before flying to Northern Luzon to inspect police post disaster operations in areas affected by Typhoon Ompong, Albayalde explained that terror cells are competing to get recognition and support from the transnational terror group ISIS through their attacks.

"Kahit na BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) yan, merong Turaife, merong ibang grupo, may mga tatlo o apat na grupo na nag-uunahan para makakuha ng recognition sa ISIS. Although they come from the same main group, iba ibang subgroup ito at may kanya kanya silang leaders dahil nagko-compete ito, (Even if they are BIFF, or Turaife, there are three or four groups competing for recognition from ISIS. Although they come from the same main group, there are subgroups which have individual leaders," Albayalde said.

The PNP chief said seven individuals who were injured in the attacks are already out of danger.

"Fortunately, walang namatay (there were no deaths). As of this time, out of danger ang declaration ng pito na nasugatan. That includes a six-year old na bata. (The declaration is that the seven people wounded are now out of danger, including a six-year-old child). Because of this, again, we reminded our regional diretors sa Mindanao area to strengthen their target hardening measures, of course, ang kanilangintelligence gathering. Napaka-importante nito para matigil ang mga bombings na ito (Their intelligence gathering is very important to foil these bombings)," Albayalde said.

The PNP chief said forensic investigators are now evaluating to compare whether similar bomb-making materials were used in the attacks.

Last Sunday's attacks took place only hours apart and comes barely a month after a bomb killed three and injured three dozen others in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat last August 28.

The attack took place inside a videoke bar in Barangay Poblacion 4, Midsayap, North Cotabato with reports claiming two men arriving and ordering soda drinks before hurrying to leave the place.

Earlier in the day, another bomb attack wounded seven people near a pharmacy was targeted in Crossing Makar, Barangay Apopong, General Santos City. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency