ONE STEP AHEAD. Task Force Davao commander Col. Darren Comia says Monday (May 30, 2022) the city government wants bus lines to only load passengers at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal to ensure safety. Local authorities have heightened security measures following the twin blasts that transpired in the neighboring provinces of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat on May 26, 2022. (Photo courtesy of TF-Davao)

DAVAO CITY – The Task Force Davao (TF Davao) has increased patrols within the borders of the city to ensure the safety and security of Dabawenyos amid recent blasts in nearby provinces.

TF-Davao commander Col. Darren Comia said they have also strengthened the bus border operations, thoroughly checking passenger buses entering the city.

"In Davao City, we have not received any direct threats from terrorists, but we will not lower our guards. That is why we have increased our men patrolling our entry points and borders," Comia said in an interview Monday.

On May 26, an improvised explosive device went off at the rear section of the Yellow Bus Line along a busy part of the GenSan Drive in Koronadal City, South Cotabato hurting two persons.  

Some 30 minutes later, another IED exploded at an empty lot in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Comia said initial investigations showed that the bombings were motivated by extortion.

"Per (initial) assessment, we found out that those [bombing] events are extortion attempts. Some terror groups have sent threats to the bus companies," he said, noting that investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Comia announced that the city government issued temporary guidelines for bus lines that include the city in their routes.

"For now, they are only allowed to load passengers at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT) so authorities can have their baggage checked," he added.

He clarified, though, that the passengers can still get off at their points of destination.

"Our DCOTT is equipped with facilities that will ensure the security and safety of the passengers and residents of the city and neighboring provinces. We are issuing this temporary guideline until further announcements," Comia said.

The Philippine National Police has already created a special investigation task group for the recent bombings. (PNA)