President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered government forces to hunt down perpetrators of the bomb explosion at a bus terminal in Digos City, Davao del Sur, that killed eight people.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, in a press conference at the sidelines of the joint National Economic Development Authority-Export Development Council (NEDA-EDC)-Cabinet meeting here, said "we condemn this act, the bombing that happened. Immediately, the President instructed the police and the military to pursue whoever is liable."
"Justice has to be served to the families of the victims," she added.
The President also convened today the National Security Council (NSC) cluster of her Cabinet here.
"As of now, anything is possible. The investigation is underway. It will be part of the NSC meeting," Fajardo said.
The incident was the second bombing that hit Metro Shuttle Bus Company in Digos after one of its fleets was also bombed on July 24 where a student was killed.
The Metro Shuttle Bus with body number 209 and bearing a licensed number plate LWS 613 left Davao City at around 2:00 p.m. bound for Malita, Davao del Sur.
At around 2:45 p.m., the bus, driven by Eduardo Fernandez, made a stop over at Digos City terminal but when the passengers were about to alight from the bus, the bomb suddenly exploded.
The ceiling of the bus was torn apart while glass windows were also broken due to the impact of the explosion.
Digos City police chief, Chief Inspector Anthony Padua could not yet give categorical statement as to the kind of bomb used as well as the group responsible for the bombing.
However, authorities do not discount the possibility that this is most likely the handiwork of the Al-Khobar extortion group, which has claimed responsibility for several such incidents in the past.
At present, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Mindanao placed on "maximum alert" all public places, particularly terminals, malls, markets, air and seaports to avert further attacks by terrorist group and other lawless elements. - PNA