DEATH THREATS. Police Director General Ronald "Bato" M. Dela Rosa says he is not afraid of the threats to his life. Dela Rosa graced the 115th Police Service Anniversary celebration held on Tuesday morning, August 9, 2016 in Camp Quintin Mericido, Buhangin, Davao City. (Paulo C. Rizal/

Police Director General Ronald “Bato” M. Dela Rosa says it is possible that the bombing in Davao City last Friday, September 3 was a diversionary tactic against the intensified anti drug war of the Duterte administration.(Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO CITY— Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Saturday said the Davao night market blast could be perceived as a diversionary tactic to shift public’s attention on the intensified anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a brief press conference at the Police Regional Office XI on Saturday night, September 3, Dela Rosa said that at least three suspects believed to be the possible culprit behind Friday’s Roxas night market bombing incident.

“Pwede naman mabayaran ng mga drug lords yun (The drug lords can easily pay them),” he said.

But Dela Rosa said that they can’t still prove that the drug menace was behind the blast. He also said that they are looking for other motives including the fight against terrorist groups

“The closest is the problem we are facing in Sulu and Basilan right now. This might be a diversionary tactic to ease the pressure to them and to divert us from being offensive, they want us to become defensive,” he said. He said, however, that investigations are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, he said  that the blast was from an improvised explosive device (IED) using “presumably”a mortar round of IED.

He also said all police units were also placed on full alert status nationwide.

Dela Rosa said that the blast may disrupt the campaign against illegal drugs for a while, but he assured that the PNP will try its best not to be disrupted to continue the fight against illegal drugs.

In a press conference on Sunday night, September 4 Davao City Police Director Senior Superintendent Michael John Dubria said the IED was detonated using a cellphone.

He also said that they have eight CCTV footage to use in their investigations. Intelligence units in the region are still trying to determine the group responsible for the explosion while all PNP units were placed in full alert status.

Police Regional Office XI Chief Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan also said that the PNP have eight witnesses whose identity are kept confidential.

He also encouraged the public to go back to their normal activities.

“We are doing our best to keep the situation in Davao City and its neighboring provinces as normal as possible,” he said.

He also said that despite the tight security, he urged the public to be vigilant.

“Be vigilant and alert for any person or packages that were being left unattended by possible saboteurs, if all of us will collaborate then we can tighten the security of Davao City,” he said.

The Roxas night market blast killed at least 14 individuals and 67 wounded casualties.(

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