North Cotabato cops increase visibility to thwart bombing attempt
MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato, Dec. 29 (PNA) — Police and local officials here activated the police force multipliers to prevent a repeat of the Christmas Eve bombing of a police car in front of the town’s parish Church, Police Supt. Bernard Tayong said Thursday.
Tayong, police chief of Midsayap town in North Cotabato’s first district, said all safety measures are in place ahead of the New Year’s Eve mass at 9 p.m. on Saturday.
He said clearly, the grenade attack that destroyed a police car and wounded 17 persons, including a police officer, was directed toward the police in retaliation for its successful campaign against illegal drugs.
The police have the CCTV footages of the two men who tossed the hand grenade that went off at 9:30 p.m while the Christmas Eve mass was on going.
The blast site was about 30 meters away from the Church main entrance.
Tayong also told reporters about what President Rodrigo Duterte told him when the latter visited Midsayap on Christmas Day. In that visit, the President handed over medical assistance to blast victims, five of whom remained in the hospital.
“His directive was clear, that is, we should continue the anti-drug operation and not be cowed by retaliations from drug syndicates,” Tayong quoted the President as telling him.
“There should be no let up in your campaign against illegal drugs, I am behind you,” the President told him and other police officials in the province.
“It is good we have a President who is supportive of our duties as protector of the people,” Tayong said.
He assured residents the police are on top of the situation and that their cooperation is necessary for the campaign against lawlessness to succeed.
The anti-drug operation in Midsayap has weakened big time drug syndicates operating in the borders of Maguindanao and North Cotabato.
High powered firearms and illegal drugs were seized when police raided the village of Lomopog in Midsayap, including cal. 50 machine guns, assault rifles and mortars.
However, drug syndicate leader Renz Tukuran and his men eluded arrest and vowed to get back at the police.
“He was our primary suspect in the grenade attack,” Tayong said. (PNA)