Cotabato City—An improvised bomb reportedly exploded inside a passenger bus while en-route to Cotabato City, tearing off a part of the vehicle’s rear and wounding at least five people.
Police said it was fortunate most of the passengers have already gotten off before the blast which reportedly took place at about 12:20 p.m. on Thursday while the Yellow Bus Liner was cruising along the General Santos City Drive in Koronadal City.
Investigators said another explosion occurred in Tacurong City at about the same time, raising suspicions that the blasts were connected.
Police identified three of the victims as Joseph Rodolfo Valenzuela, Jonalyn Ferrer, and Angel Ferrer. Two others remained unidentified as of presstime.
Police temporarily closed the road section where the explosion happened, causing heavy traffic in the area.
Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena underscored the need to improve security measures in collaboration with the neighboring towns and cities to better protect the people.
Police Capt. Renjun Bagaman, spokesman of the South Cotabato Provincial Police Office, said a tricycle driver, Wilfredo Tino, who was tailing the YBL bus, was also injured.
Bagaman confirmed that the blast tore through the rear part of the bus an explosive device of the improvised type while it was traveling along General Santos Drive in Koronadal City from Tacurong City.
Police probers were still trying to establish the motive of the attack. The Authorities said the YBL Transport Company had previously received bomb threats attributed to extortionists and extremist groups.