• Extortion eyed in Davao van blast

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    COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Extortion is most likely the motive behind the bombing of the passenger van n Davao City on Wednesday, the Davao City police disclosed on Thursday.

    Police’ initial findings showed the use of an improvised explosive device (IED) could be part of the extortion activities of lawless individuals based in Pikit, North Cotabato who have reportedly been harassing the van owner.

    Chief Inspector Milgrace Driz, Davao City Police spokesperson, said van operator Gregorio Guerrero who is from Pikit, told police that he has been receiving harassment threats from unknown personalities for refusing to cough out protection money.

    “We are looking at several angles, but extortion was the most likely motive,” according to Driz.

    The van driver Herman Daag and conductor Albert Basanez, both sustained minor injuries from the explosion.

    Daag said they left Pikit at around 5:30 a.m., for Davao City with only four passengers and offloaded them at a mall terminal in the city. They then proceeded to the back area of the mall where they parked the van and the explosion happened shortly.

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