The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing the involvement of a local criminal group in the bus stop bombing in North Cotabato on Wednesday that left one person dead and three others injured.

PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said initial investigation showed that extortion is the most likely motive and that it was carried out by members of the local crime group Al Khobar which is engaged in extortion activities on businessmen in the province and nearby areas.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Debold Sinas held his first command visit to Police Regional Office (PRO-7) Central Visayas were at least 2,000 loose and seized firearms from police operations and New Peoples Army (NPA) surrenderees were presented in Camp Sergio Osmena Cebu City on Saturday. Sinas was once the Regional Director of PRO-7 for One year and four months. (Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Debold Sinas
(Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN)

The same group has been tagged in the past in several bus bombing and bus burning activities in Central Mindanao.
On Wednesday, an improvised explosive device exploded at a waiting shed in Barangay Sibsib in Tulunan town and killed 53-year-old fruit vendor Gina Paunon.

The explosion also injured Ryan Panibayo,28; Lorester Hilbero,25; and Kenneth Grace Alarin, 29.

Also given first aid at a local hospital due to blast trauma were Edwardo Odango, 53; Kent Lloyd Senadero,19; and Rodel Secur,24.
The blast occurred just as a Yellow Bus Line (YBL) bus made a stop to unload and pick-up passengers. The blast hit the right side of the bus.

During the investigation, it was found out that a spokesman of the Al Khobar Group has been demanding money from the operator of the bus company and threatened a bomb attack if they fail to give it.

Sinas, however, said they are not discounting other possibilities and other threat groups in the area.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/01/28/al-khobar-crime-groups-extortion-eyed-in-norcot-bomb-attack/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=al-khobar-crime-groups-extortion-eyed-in-norcot-bomb-attack)