Bangsamoro government to help track perpetrators of recent bombings in Central Mindanao

COTABATO CITY –– Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod ‘Al Haj Murad’ Ebrahim has committed to help police and military authorities uncover those who perpetrated the recent attacks in Central Mindanao.

“We are committed to use all resources at our disposal to help out in determining the people behind these attacks,” said Ebrahim, who is also the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief.

The military has earlier pointed to the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) as responsible for the series of bombing incidents in Cotabato City and the municipalities of Upi in Maguindanao and Libungan in Cotabato in the evening of December 22.

The BIFF, however, denied responsibility for the attacks.

The BIFF is a breakaway group of the MILF’s armed wing, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces.

“As stewards of peace in the region, the government of the day will not tolerate any act of violence that will spoil peace and development in the region and put the lives of our people in harm’s way,” Ebrahim said.

He called on “all local government units to tighten their security measures and make sure that no further incidents take place.”

“We are also encouraging our constituents to be more vigilant in their surroundings. Please report immediately any suspicious activities to the respective authorities,” Ebrahim said.

Ebrahim also gave his assurance “that the Bangsamoro Government is closely monitoring the situation.”

Meanwhile, Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco asked her constituents “to remain calm and to stay vigilant.”

“We need to muster our courage and to strongly resist fear,” Catamco said.

“I strongly believe in the fortitude and mettle of our people. We have proven this, time and again. We have survived and thrived despite natural disasters and acts of terrorism,” Catamco added.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, Bangsamoro minister of local government, stressed the need for “a collective act from all of us to unmask those behind it and bring them to justice.”

“We call on everyone to contribute their share in putting an end to these cowardly and inhuman acts,” Sinarimbo said.

The bombings in Cotabato City and the municipalities of Nuro Upi in Maguindanao and Libungan in North Cotabato left 23 persons hurt.