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Davao City on alert after Basilan car bomb attack

Authorities heightened the alert status following a car bomb blast in Lamitan, Basilan that killed 11 people, including the van driver.

Initially, among those killed were three soldiers and four Cafgu members, and other civilians.

“We have further intensified our stringent security measures implemented in Davao City,” Col. Nolasco Mempin, the commander of Task Force Davao, said.

“We again seek the support and cooperation of Davaoenos to be vigilant and to report immediately any suspicious persons and items and baggage to the proper authority. Security is everybody’s concern,” Mempin said.

He also reminded the troops to be extra watchful when checking the vehicles.

Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva, the spokesperson of the Philippine Army, quoted Scout Ranger Battalion commander Lt. Col. Montano Almodovar who said that a foreign-looking man who couldn’t understand Tagalog was intercepted at a checkpoint while on board a van.

When he was asked to alight from the vehicle, the blast occurred.

Villanueva said they are still waiting for the further report from the area. “We could not yet speculate if it was perpetrated by a suicide bomber,” he added.

In an interview yesterday, Sr. Insp. Maria Theresita Gaspan, the spokesperson of Davao City Police Office (DCPO), said they have always been on alert since the implementation of Martial Law.

Meanwhile, Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, expressed condolences to the victims of the attack.

“Our mechanism of preventing terrorism is working and being implemented by our subordinate units,” Balagtey said. “While we have no hard information of possible terrorist attack we are always on guard to prevent such thing from happening.”

“We are asking the people for their continuous support and cooperation in securing Eastern Mindanao,“ he said.

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