An alleged member of Daulah Islamiyah (DI) was killed and another one was arrested in M’lang, Cotabato on Wednesday in an operation against the suspects in the recent bombings in Mindanao, the military said.
In a statement issued Thursday, the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) identified the fatality as Monir Lintukan, and the arrested suspect as Randy Karon or “Bong.” Both allegedly belong to the DI Maguindanao Group.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is also looking into possible lapses in the security measures in the wake of the four bomb attacks in Mindanao, as police commanders are warned against sloppy work in protecting their areas of responsibility.
PNP director for operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon said the Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 9 is assessing if there were lapses in the intelligence-gathering and security measures in Isabela City in Basilan, where two people were injured in Monday’s twin explosions.
The 602nd Infantry Brigade and Police Regional Office 12 targeted the suspects in the explosions reported in Parang, Maguindanao; Koronadal City, South Cotabato; and Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.
“We cannot sacrifice that every day we suffer bombs in your respective areas, or there are better ones who can replace the commanders,” De Leon said in a statement Thursday.
He said PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. has ordered police regional directors to investigate the blasts to find out if there were lapses in the intelligence units and personnel.
According to Wesmincom, the law enforcement support operation led to an encounter with an undetermined number of DI members led by Almoben Camen Sebod or “Polok.”
Sebod was allegedly a full-time member of the group directly involved in extortion and scam activities, the military said.
After the firefight, operating troops recovered the body of Lintukan.
Also recovered from the area were a 5.56mm M16 rifle, a long M16 magazine with 41 rounds, cartridge of a cal. 5.56mm, a bandolier, and an improvised explosive device, the military said.
On May 26, a tricycle driver was hurt in an explosion inside a bus in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. Another explosion at a vacant lot was reported in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat on the same day.
On Monday, explosions also hit a parking lot near a fast-food chain and a motor pool of a bus company in Isabela City, Basilan.
These incidents prompted the Philippine National Police to place its entire force on full alert.
After the bus bombings in Tacurong City and Koronadal City last week, De Leon issued a memorandum to all regional directors and unit commanders to intensify the security measures in their areas to prevent a repeat.
Three days later, two separate explosions occurred near a fast-food restaurant and the garage of a bus terminal in Isabela City.
A Special Investigation Task Group was created to look into the motive and the perpetrators of the bombings.
De Leon also appealed to the public, especially those in Mindanao, to
“Don’t worry because the PNP and the AFP are on top of the situation. Let us remain vigilant. If you have unattended baggage, don’t panic. You should report to the police station if you find any information,” he said.