COTABATO CITY — Police and military authorities here believed the grenade attack on a bus terminal here Saturday night was motivated by extortion.
Supt. Rolen Balquin, city police director, said additional police forces have been deployed at Weena Bus Terminal along Andres Alonzo Avenue, Cotabato City after two men lobbed a hand grenade in the compound at 7:20 p.m.
Nobody was hurt in the blast which came as the compound had been closed after all bus units from Davao City have entered the public terminal premises.
Police and Army probers said the new bus management had received an extortion letter from still unidentified armed men who threatened the firm with grenade attacks if the demand was ignored.
The blast caused minor damages to two parked Weena bus, now under the management of Bachelor Bus Company. It is the lone bus firm plying the Cotabato-Davao-Cotabato route.
Responding bomb experts from the police and Army Special Forces and operatives from the PNP’s Scene f the Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered the safety lever of an MK-2 hand grenade.
Capt. Joanne Petinglay, chief of the 6th Infantry Division public affairs office, said two men were seen speeding away on a motorbike followed by a loud blast.
Army bomb experts recovered the safety lever of MK-2 hand grenade inside the compound.
Under the new management, the bus firm now have only four bus stops in the Davao-Cotabato route and its units do not pick passengers in between terminals as part of security measures.
The bus firm had been subjected to dozens of grenade attacks believed to be carried out by lawless elements extorting money from the firm.
In the bus terminals in North Cotabato, stricter policy had been implemented following the rash of bombings since late last year.
Plainclothesmen were also deployed in bus terminals and other public places to prevent bomb attacks.