The components used in building the IED that rocked the town of Isulan in Sultan Kudarat on August 28, 2018 | PRO 12
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has deployed bomb experts to Isulan, Sultan Kudarat to examine the components of the improvised explosive device (IED) recovered from the blast site.
PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said the team of experts is expected to help the authorities identify the group behind the explosion on Tuesday night (August 28) that horrified the community and killed three civilians.
Based on the images acquired by UNTV, the suspects in the blast used a cellular phone as a triggering device. Its power source was a 9 volts battery and the body or the container was formed using a barrel of a water pump.
Initial reports suggested that the power source and the triggering device in the Isulan blast were similar to those recovered in the botched explosion at Unitop Koronadal on August 18 during the celebration of the Koronadal International Folklore Festival.
A similar water pump was also used in the IED recovered in the failed explosion at the camp of the Philippine Army 33rd Infantry Batallion in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao in July.
Given the characteristics of the IED components, Albayalde ordered bomb experts to identify if the persons behind the Isulan blast were the same persons who planted the IEDs in the previous bombing attempts.
Since the explosion on Tuesday, speculations about several groups masterminding the blast surfaced, implicating the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), or the Dawla Islamiya Abu Turaife Group.
“Iyong bomb data center pinapunta natin doon to collate yun para makita kung ano talaga itong signature, kung saan galing or kung sino may gawa nitong IED na ito,” Albayalde said.
Reports, however, surfaced that the explosion in Isulan was claimed by the international terror group ISIS.
Meanwhile, Albayalde admits that the authorities in Mindanao did not expect the explosion to happen despite heightened security measures being imposed in the region. In fact, 260 security personnel were deployed to man the celebration of the Humangaya Festival.
“Nung nakita na suspicious nung nakita na sinisipa or inuusog yung bag sa ilalim ng motorsiklo hinabol na itong taong ito but then lumalabas na meron pa syang kasama na rider na nagmamaneho doon sa isang motorsiklo sa may kanto ng may Honda so doon
sila nakatakbo at hindi nahabol ng CAFGU at sumabog na from there yung IED,” the PNP Chief explained.
During a closed-door meeting with members of Police Regional Office 12 in Isulan, a facial composite sketch of the suspect was presented to Albayalde. The description shows a medium built male suspect of 5’6 to 5’7” in height. He was wearing a black shirt and dark colored pants with a black backpack, based on the accounts of the three witnesses. — Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo