By Joseph Jubelag
ISULAN, SULTAN KUDARAT– Police authorities are eyeing extortion as a possible motive on the bomb attack on Wednesday at a local restaurant here which injured 18 people including six minors.
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An injured victim of a bomb attack Wednesday on a local restaurant in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat is being treated at a local hospital (Joseph Jubelag / MANILA BULLETIN)
Isulan police chief PLt. Col. Junny Buenacosa said investigators are eyeing extortion as a possible motive into the blast triggered by an improvised explosive device at the entrance of Carlito’s Restaurant along the national highway in Barangay Kalawag, here past 3 p.m. Wednesday.
“It’s an isolated incident which was perpetrated by suspected extortionists,” Buenacosa said.
He said that prior to the attack the owner of the restaurant had earlier sought police assistance after hey had received an extortion try through text messages supposedly coming from a local armed group.
He said the attack was meant to harass and scare the management of the restaurant.
Police investigators had already identified the suspects behind the attack and assured that a thorough probe will be conducted for the filing of criminal charges against the perpetrators.
The injured victims were identified as Randy Tranquillero, Guiamadel Nurhana, Datu Joven Guiamadel, Tristan Casipe Dan Laguerder, Karl Denver Laguerder, Bai Amina Japitana, 8 years old, Watchel dela Cerna, Salyka Falcoagpet, Montasser Masunlog, Nasser Montasser, Malidas Bai ali Mindal, Malidas Mindatu Mindal, Che-Che Malidas, John Mark Sumandal, Johnny Garcia Jenny Pabagaman.
Isulan Mayor Maritess Pallasigue said the local government will provide assistance for the hospitalization of the victims.
She ordered the police to expedite the investigation and hale the perpetrators to justice.
Police had placed the entire locality under heightened alert following the recent bomb attack.
At least four people and 50 others were injured in the spate of bomb attacks that rocked this capital town on August 28 and September 2 last year.
Authorities blamed the ISIS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters as behind the previous attacks.