Two explosions at fast food restaurant and bus garage prompt tougher security measures in Basilan


ISABELLE CDRRMO

Security measures have been tightened in Isabela City, located in Basilan in the southern Philippines, after two back-to-back explosions early Monday evening at commercial properties left two civilians injured, police said.

The first explosion took place around 5:45 p.m. in the parking lot of a Jollibee fast food branch in the city proper.

As authorities conducted post-explosion operations, another explosion was reported at the D bus depot.Biel Transportation Co. in another part of town. Four of the companys buses were damaged, police said.

Regional Police Director Franco P. Simborio, of the Zamboanga Peninsula, which has jurisdiction over the town, said an investigation and manhunt was underway to find the perpetrators, with at least one suspect captured on CCTV footage of the first explosion.

We are aware of the situation and we need the cooperation of the public to prevent similar incidents from occurring,declared Mr. Simbori, calling for calm and vigilance.

He said they are coordinating closely with the city government and other law enforcement agencies to immediately solve the crime and avoid a repeat of the incidents.

Isabela City Mayor Sitti Djalia A. Turabin-Hataman, in a statement posted to his Facebook page Monday evening, also called for calm and appealed to the public to avoid speculation and sow fear.

For a long time we have peace in the city and in the whole province of Basilan,she said in Filipino. Our economy is accelerating and life is improving. Let’s continue like this and let everyone know that no intimidation will stop our development.

The city of Isabela is administratively under the Zamboanga Peninsula region although it is located in Basilan, which is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. MSD

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