The Philippine National Police (PNP) relieved on Monday the police chiefs of Sultan Kudarat province and Isulan town following the spate of bomb attacks in the area.
Sultan Kudarat acting provincial director, Senior Supt. Noel Kinazo, and Isulan police chief, Supt. Celestino Daniel, were ordered removed – hours after the second bomb explosion in five days in Isulan town on Sunday evening that left two persons dead and 13 others wounded.
Chief Insp. Ronnie Dardo, spokesperson of the Sultan Kudarat police provincial office, said the relief orders issued by PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde were relayed by Camp Crame on Monday morning.
Dardo said Supt. Junny Buenacosa, a former police chief of Tacurong City, was named as Daniel’s replacement.
Buenacosa’s designation was announced by Supt. Roy Romuado, the deputy provincial director for administration, following their flag-raising ceremony, Dardo said.
Dardo said Kinazo’s relief as provincial director was confirmed by Chief Supt. Eliseo Rasco, the regional director of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12.
Assigned as Kinazo’s replacement was Senior Supt. Reynaldo Celestino, who had a brief stint as acting police director of Cotabato City.
“We’re still waiting for the official documents regarding their relief,” Dardo said in an interview Monday.
Police said the improvised bomb exploded at around 7:28 p.m. Sunday inside the Liezther James Internet Cafe and General Merchandise located at the corner of Valdez and Valencia Streets in Barangay Kalawag 2 in Isulan.
The PRO-12 said 10 of the injured victims remained confined in various hospitals while three were already discharged.
Dardo said the bomb was placed inside a bag and left by a still unidentified suspect inside the internet cafe moments before the blast.
“Investigators are already processing footages from the establishment’s CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras,” he said.
Based on a report from the Sultan Kudarat police’s explosives ordnance disposal unit, the explosive was placed in a plastic container.
Among the components recovered at the scene were blue and green wires, one-inch concrete nails and soil samples with traces of suspected ammonium nitrate.
Isulan was also rocked by a powerful bomb explosion on August 28 that killed three persons and injured more than 30 others.
The attack near an “ukay-ukay” stall along the national highway in Barangay Kalawag 3 occurred two days before the culmination of the town’s 7th Hamungaya Festival and 61st foundation anniversary celebration. (PNA)