The Department of Justice (DoJ) has issued an order directing the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe on the blasts in Mindanao, particularly in Cotabato City where at least 19 persons were injured.
Upon the instruction of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Justice Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand Sugay signed and issued a department order on Monday night directing the conduct of the investigation.
“In the interest of service and pursuant to Republic Act No. 10867, or the National Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Act, the NBI through Director Dante A. Gierran is hereby directed and granted authority to conduct an investigation and case build-up on the bombing in Cotabato City and other related incidents in the nearby provinces on 22 December 2019,” read the order.
“Further, Director Gierran is directed to submit periodic reports on the progress of the subject investigation and case build-up to the Office of the Secretary,” it added.
Even prior the issuance of the order, Guevarra said the NBI already proceeded with the investigation.
“The NBI field operatives have in fact started preliminary work shortly after the incidents,” he disclosed on Tuesday.
“I expect them to submit a preliminary report before New Year’s day,” he added.
Around 6 p.m. Sunday, a grenade was hurled near the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cotabato City where 12 persons were wounded, including eight soldiers.
Thirty minutes later, a person was hurt in a blast in Pedro Colina Hill, also in Cotabato City.
Two more explosions took place also Sunday night in Libunan, North Cotabato and Upi, Maguindanao, where five persons and one individual were hurt, respectively. (Jeffrey Damicog)