Bus owners brace against bomb threats
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/23 June) — Bus operators in Southern Mindanao announced they are taking innovative safety measures in their operations in the aftermath of the bombing of a Weena bus in Bansalan, Davao del Sur that killed ten persons. Viah Lumogdang, spokesperson of the 13-member Southern Mindanao Bus Operators Association, said they have coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in immediately taking novel security measures in reaction to the lingering threats of extortionists.
Among those killed in the recent bus bombing were the driver, conductor and a soldier who tried to move out of a Davao City-bound Weena bus a bag left behind by a male passenger which they feared contained a bomb.
The homemade bomb exploded just as the bag was brought out of the bus, killing instantly the driver and the soldier and injuring seriously the bus conductor who later died.
Suspected extortionists whom the police did not want to name as yet reportedly demanded millions from the bus company.
The company has reportedly received death threats since May.
Lumogdang said the case of Weena Bus Company served as an eye-opener for the other operators who were encouraged to reveal they, too, received threats and have given in to extortion.
SMBOA explained stricter measures are being taken and that they are now fighting extortion for a number of reasons.