PNP now pursuing suspects in latest Isulan blast

By Priam Nepomuceno

September 3, 2018, 1:11 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy: Eunice Samonte, PTV)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy: Eunice Samonte, PTV)

MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now conducting pursuit operations against the persons or groups responsible for the latest improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat, which killed two persons and wounded 11 others Sunday night.

"The Philippine National Police is mobilizing all available security forces in pursuit operations against persons responsible for the latest act of terrorism in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat yesterday (Sunday) even as we extend our sympathies to the family of the lone fatality in the explosion incident," PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana said in a statement Monday.

Durana said the PNP joins the entire nation in strongly condemning this senseless act of terror for whatever motive its perpetrators may have.

An IED was detonated inside a public computer shop in Barangay Kalawag 2 in Isulan that resulted in the death of John Mark Luda, 18, and Marialyn Luda, 15, and injuries to 11 others, two of whom are in serious condition.

"While we express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of the deceased and sympathy to the wounded, we assure them of our keen resolve and commitment to bring before the bar of justice those responsible for this dastardly and vicious act," Durana added.

Despite being on official mission abroad, PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has already directed police units in Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) to further intensify conduct of checkpoints, police visibility patrols, and focused intelligence and law enforcement operations in close coordination with the AFP and other members of the security sector.

Albayalde is on official mission in Brunei Darussalam to head the PNP delegation in the annual ASEAN Association of Chiefs of Police Conference.

Albayalde also ordered the relief of Senior Supt. Noel Kinazo, provincial director of Sultan Kudarat, and Senior Supt. Celestino Daniel Jr., Isulan town chief of police, to pave the way for a thorough and impartial investigation into Sunday’s incident and a similar attack earlier.

Last Aug. 28, an IED exploded in Barangay Calawag 3, Isulan, killing three and wounding 37 others. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters was tagged as the perpetrator behind the first and second IED attacks.

"The PNP will sincerely appreciate any information from our citizens that may help police to identify the suspects and prevent any similar incident from happening again. We likewise appeal to the public not to allow their normal productive lives to be disrupted by this incident and to immediately resume their normal activities to deliver a strong message that the people of Sultan Kudarat will not be cowed," Durana said. (PNA)