JULY 31, 2018 – The price of peace need not be costly.
Thus said Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Tuesday as he deplored the suicide bombing in Basilan which resulted in the killing of 11 people, including three women and a child, and the wounding of five others.
Media reports said a 10-seater passenger van exploded 15 meters away from a checkpoint in Lamitan City early Tuesday morning. It was the first case of suicide bombing in the town, considered a stronghold of Muslim extremists.
Fatalities included “the bomber, three Cafgu members manning the checkpoint, and a detachment commander from 19th Special Forces.” Five Scout Rangers, including a young Army lieutenant, are critically wounded.
Lamitan City Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay was quoted as having said that the van’s driver, who looked like a foreigner, was intercepted at Bulanting checkpoint by Cafgus who sought the help of Scout Rangers and held the driver for questioning. When the lieutenant approached the van, it suddenly went off.
Barbers said he believed the terrorist attack was a desperate attempt to distract the peace mood and stop the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Act which was signed by President Duterte last week.
“The phantoms behind such a cowardly act have no place in a decent society. They deserve to perish in the dark where they always belong,” Barbers said. #