KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato – Police authorities here have intensified security measures following a foiled passenger bus firebombing attack Thursday afternoon.
Lt. Col. Lauro Espida, Kidapawan City police director, said tighter security measures are in place following an explosion inside the Davao Metro Shuttle Bus parked at the Kidapawan City Overland terminal at 3 p.m.
“A mild explosion followed by smoke emitting from a bag left unattended sent some passengers running for their lives and yelling a bomb had just exploded,” Espida said in a media interview on Friday.
He said a quick response from the police’s K9 unit prevented a fire inside the bus.
Espida said the items found at the rear of a Davao Metro Shuttle bus were “incendiary bomb components” aimed at setting the vehicle ablaze.
“The bag contained two mobile phones, a 9-volt battery, two canisters of butane gas, and other flammable materials,” he said.
The police official believed the motive of the attack was to destroy the bus.
“It (firebomb) was timed because the bus was at the city terminal where passengers are expected to board or alight from the vehicle,” he said.
Police said the bus was heading to Davao City from Arakan, North Cotabato, and had a stopover in Kidapawan City.
The bus conductor told police investigators that a man with two backpacks got on the vehicle in Antipas, North Cotabato, and alighted as the unit was approaching the city.
Espida said all buses entering the city would have to be inspected with the help of bomb-sniffing dogs to prevent another attack. (PNA)