DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Police authorities are now on heightened alert after an improvised explosive device was found a hundred meters away from the United States Embassy in Manila. The IED had similar descriptions from the IED that was used during the Davao blast two months ago, police said Monday.

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said the 81-milimeter mortar found in a trash bin is made of a blasting cap, a cellphone, detonator and a 9-volt battery power source, similar to that used in the Roxas night market bombing here on September 2.

Dela Rosa said the IED, according to a bystander, was placed in the trash bin by a still unidentified person on board a cab. The IED was defused a few hours after it was found around 6:00 am.

Dela Rosa described it as “an attempted act of terrorism.”

“Since the proximity is 100 to 150 meters away from the US Embassy then it could be that the objective is to scare,” he said in a press conference, Monday.

Bombs for sale

Dela Rosa said the suspects are most probably paid to do the job. He said the bombing in Central Mindanao is already a “bomb for sale” trade.

“If you want to terrorize a political rival or a business rival you may buy a bomb from me and we will deliver it there. That is what’s happening in Central Mindanao, bombs for sale,” Dela Rosa said in Filipino.

He said anybody could be a suspect.

“It might be a group or an individual who is angry at the US embassy because his application was not approved, or a group of people who wants to bring down the US embassy, anybody can do that, except for the government,” he said.

He also said it could be a tactic by the Maute group to divert the authorities’ attention from Mindanao.

The Maute group was linked to the bombing here which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a state of lawless violence.

Not for Martial Law declaration

But, Dela Rosa diffused rumors linking the blast to a possible precedent for the government to declare Martial Law.

“For God’s sake we will not use, the government will not use an incident that will cause panic, fear, and undue harm, or even death to its people to declare Martial Law,” he said.

“We cannot do that. What if our own children get hurt? Think about it, there’s a God that watches over us so stop accusing the government, don’t think that this is a handiwork of the government,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa also said they will not ask the public to avoid crowded places as this will mean a “victory for the terrorist to sow panic.”

“Life must go on,” he said, adding that they will be seeking public support to report to police any suspicious activity. (davaotoday.com)

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