Duterte orders increased police visibility after Sultan Kudarat blast

MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday ordered increased police visibility in the wake of the second explosion that rocked Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, killing one person on Sunday evening.

The President has been kept updated on all developments by the Philippine National Police (PNP), which has already ordered its men on the ground to increase visibility and patrol and tighten security, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.

Duterte is currently in Israel until September 5, the first Filipino leader to travel to the country, upon the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He is there to strengthen cooperation in areas such as defense and security, law enforcement, economic development, labor, trade and investments.

From Israel, Duterte will fly to Jordan for an official visit from September 5 to 8 upon the invitation of His Majesty King Abdullah II.

While away, Duterte has designated Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra as officer-in-charge to handle day-to-day operations in the Office of the President.

Roque, meanwhile, condemned the recent blast and expressed sympathy for the death of a teenage boy, Jan Mark Palencia Luda, a resident of the neighboring Bagumbayan town, Sultan Kudarat.

We strongly denounce the latest attack in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, Roque said.

We are deeply saddened by the death of one innocent victim, per initial report, and pray for the swift recovery of those injured, he added.

Roque also asked residents of Isulan to report anything suspicious to the authorities.

He assured anew that the government will bring to justice the culprits behind the attack.

According to local police, the explosion took place around 7:28 p.m. in front of an Internet cafe in Barangay Kalawag 2.

Police Supt. Aldrin Gonzales. PRO-12 spokesperson, said there were at least eight victims rushed to the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital.

A report from the Isulan Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, however, put the number of injured persons to 14 and at least one dead.

Police Scene of the Crime Operation investigators are now inspecting the blast site as of this posting, Gonzales added.

Sunday night's bombing came after three persons were killed while 36 others were injured in an explosion in Barangay Kalawag while the town was celebrating its foundation anniversary and Hamungaya festival last Aug. 28.

Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu has offered PHP1 million reward for any information leading to the arrest of the August 28 bombing suspects.

Earlier, Roque said MalacaAang is open to the possibility of extending martial law in Mindanao in the wake of the first bombing in Isulan town but stressed that it remains only an option. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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