Cotabato City mayor seeks 'deeper' probe into bomb attempt

By Noel Punzalan

May 19, 2018, 5:04 pm

<p>Cotabato City Hall <em><strong>(PNA file photo)</strong></em></p>

Cotabato City Hall (PNA file photo)

COTABATO CITY – Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi on Friday called on the police and the military to conduct a "deeper investigation" into the foiled bombing attempt here days before the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

Guiani-Sayadi said police discovered the improvised explosive device (IED) at the coastal village of Kalanganan 2, one of the identified election “hotspots”, three days before the May 14 elections.

She said the plot only came to light after a suspect, who was supposed to "receive" the bombs and use these during campaign rallies, surrendered and confessed the plan to barangay officials. The suspect is under police custody and his identity is being withheld pending investigation, she added.

While the plot was foiled, the mayor expressed disappointment over the incident, pointing out that bombs have been used in the past by criminal elements to disrupt elections in the city, or simply to disturb the peace.

“This is clearly an act of violence and a disruption to the improved peace and order situation in the city,” she said.

Guiani-Sayadi said she has already appealed to the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, to further deepen the investigation into the case.

“It is high time that the names of those behind these terroristic acts be revealed, as they should also be made answerable for their acts,” the mayor said.

Guiani-Sayadi herself has been a target of a bombing incident in the past.

In August 2013, an explosion ripped across a busy section of Sinsuat Ave., the city’s main thoroughfare, while the two-vehicle convoy of Guiani-Sayadi, who was then the city administrator, was passing by.

She was not hurt in the incident but several of her security escorts and civilians lost their lives in the incident. The case has not been resolved. (PNA)