BULUAN, Maguindanao: Authorities here on Monday remain clueless as to the motives and the suspects behind the bombing attempts that could have threatened thousands of people celebrating the town’s 80th founding anniversary.
But officials belied insinuations that the bombing attempt has something to do with politics as election day nears.
Approximately 10,000 people were commemorating the foundation day of Buluan on Saturday with Davao City mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte when two improvised explosive device (IEDs) were uncovered.
Philippine Army bomb experts recovered the IEDs planted along roadside fences in Barangay Poblacion at about 8:30 p.m., kilometers away from the crowd.
The IEDs were rigged with two plastic bottle containers filled with 2 kilos of black powders, blasting caps, detonating cords, triple AAA batteries, concrete nails, bolts, nuts, wireless remote control and other explosive components.
Buluan Municipal Police Chief Senior Insp. Gani Miro said they are closely looking into the incident to identify the culprits.
Meanwhile, Buluan Vice Mayor King Jhazzer Mangudadatu belied reports that the attempts were related to politics in Maguindanao, which was recently cited as among areas of concern by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Mangudadatu, eldest son of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, did not mention possible culprits but hinted that they usually target camps of government forces.
“It was not a politically motivated attack as the bombs were planted near the police station, away from the crowd,” he said.
The known threat group operating in the province are members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who have a record of harassing military and police detachments.
It is also feared that the rebel group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), will stage disturbances during the election.