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Police chiefs sacked over Soccsksargen bombings

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Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde sacked the police chiefs of General Santos City and Midsayap town following separate explosions that left a number of people injured.

This comes after the PNP top cop had directed the mobilization of all available police security forces to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I have directed the mobilization of all available police security forces in pursuit operations against persons responsible for the latest act of terrorism in General Santos City this morning even as we extend our support and sympathies to our fellow Filipinos who were wounded in the explosion incident,” he said in a statement Sunday.

Albayalde added he had ordered police units in the Soccsksargen Region to “further intensify” checkpoints and police patrols and closely coordinate with other members of the security.

At least eight people were injured when an improvised explosive device went off near a lying-in clinic in Barangay Apopong, General Santos City on Sunday noon, while another improvised bomb exploded in Barangay Poblacion 4 in Midsayap town later.

There were no reported casualties in said explosions.

The incident in General Santos City was the third bombing in Region 12 or Soccsksargen region in less than a month, authorities said.

Supt. Aldrin Gonzales, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-12, said the explosion occurred at around 11:40 a.m. outside the TGP Generic Pharmacy at Crossing Makar in Barangay Labangal in the city.

Gonzalez said the still unknown suspect placed the improvised explosive device beside the pharmacy, adding that investigations were underway to establish the motive and identify the suspects of the attack.

The Commission on Human Rights, meantime, condemned the explosions over the weekend, calling it an “unfortunate event” given the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.

“It is unfortunate that even with the veil of martial law in Mindanao, senseless attacks continue to mar peace in the region,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.

“We strongly condemn these episodes of violence, whose effects ultimately fall upon innocent civilians,” she added, while urging the police to “act with expediency” in solving the blast incident. According to the CHR official, perpetrators of the crime should be held accountable.

“We stand that the perpetrators must be brought before our Courts and be made accountable for their crimes,” De Guia said. “We urge our security forces to act with expediency in ensuring justice to all aggrieved and in avoiding such incidents from happening again.”

Malacañang also condemned the attack as it vowed to “bring the perpetrators of this brazen attack to justice.”

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