A conference presided by the Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was held in Cotabato City yesterday morning (January 3) purposely to discuss updates on the recent bombing incident.
Present during the conference were Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr.; OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson P. Hermoso; Western Mindanao Command Chief Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega; Joint Task Force Central Commander Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana; Cotabato City Police Director Police Senior Superintendent Rolly S. Octavio; Task Force “Kutawato” Commander Colonel Wilbur C. Mamawag; and 5th Special Forces Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Eros James N. Uri.
Military and Police officials provided updates on the investigation regarding the bombing incident that transpired on December 31, 2018 in front of the South Seas Mall which resulted to a total of 36 casualties (2 killed, 34 wounded).
The police also mentioned that thorough investigation on the motive of the attack and the identity of the perpetrator is still being undertaken.
Accordingly, the bomb was made of a plastic container with improvised electric blasting cap, 9-volt battery, and concrete nails attached to a cellphone with sim card.
Secretary Lorenzana also met with Cotabato City Mayor Atty. Cynthia Frances Sayadi-Guiani; Maguindanao 1st District Representative Congresswoman Bai Sandra Sema; and Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chief of Staff Sammy Al-Manzor Gambar to solicit for their support and cooperation to achieve a peaceful and worry-free plebiscite and midterm elections.
“We call on the public to be more vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious person or baggage in your vicinity,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“Let us not allow the detractors to deter us from pursuing our quest for a long and lasting peace in Mindanao,” he added.