An improvised bomb left at a row of establishments along a national highway in Barangay Apopong, General Santos City exploded before noon Sunday. Eight people were wounded.
According to Chief Supt. Eliseo Rasco, director of Police Regional Office 12 (Soccsksargen), the blast occurred at around 11:50 am. Supt Aldrin Gonzales, public information officer of Region 12’s police force, confirmed the timing.
The improvised explosive device was left next to a TGP Generics Pharmacy and a Vic Bonito Lying-in Clinic on the Makar junction.
The explosion saw the facade of the clinic destroyed, as well causing damage to surrounding establishments. PRO-12 initially reported a list of 7 injured, but as of 5 p.m. updated the count to eight. The victims have been identified as Jeslly Yuonne Guyos, 19, of Polomolok, South Cotabato; Anthon Fallor, 24, of Polomolok; Claire Uozoia, 24, of Koronadal City; Joana Bless Alipio, 6, of Barangay Glamang, Polomolok; Lanie Alipio 34, of Glamang, Polomolok; John Lenon Calary, 22, of Sultan Kudarat province; Felipa Regios, 63, of Barangay Apopong here; and Marlon Yadao Orabia, 30, of Olaer, Barangay Apopong.
The victims were brought to the St. Elizabeth Hospital for treatment of their injuries. According to PRO-12, the injuries sustained were “non-critical”.
The entire city of General Santos has since been placed under “Alert level 4” by the crisis management committee headed by City Mayor Ronnel Rivera. Col. Adonis Bajao, commanding officer of the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan confirmed that security measures in the city have been increased.
“It was approved (by the mayor). We have doubled our security checkpoints in all entry and exit points,” Bajao said.
Chief Supt. Rasco has said that initial investigations are ongoing, but the incident is being treated as an act of terrorism. The investigation is also searching for possible links between this attack and the bomb attacks of August 28 and September 2 in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat.
“This is (an act of) terrorism. The purpose of the perpetrators is to clearly terrorize the people,” said