19 IEDs recovered in South Cotabato

Rean Hacosta, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Authorities recovered 19 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in T'Boli, South Cotabato on Monday morning.

Col. Benjamin Leander, commander of the the Army's 27th Infantry Battalion, said residents of Sitio Tabudbud, Barangay New Dumangas tipped them on the location of the buried homemade bombs.

Twelve of the IEDs were capable of injuring people while the rest can destroy vehicles.

Town police chief Insp. Jose Marie Simangan said the bombs may have been planted by New People's Army (NPA) rebels to disrupt preparations for the May 9 elections.

The Army Explosive and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Division detonated two of the IEDs in Sitio Tabudbud, after failing to remove its blasting caps.

The military and police have started patrolling the mountains of T'boli on Sunday in preparation for the delivery of election paraphernalia to different villages on Thursday.

Seven barangays in T'boli are on the watch list of the Commission on Elections due to intense political rivalry and cases of election-related violence there in previous polls.

But, the town police said, these areas will not be of concern in the upcoming elections because most of its candidates are running unopposed.

Police are also conducting pursuit operations for three members of Guerilla Front 73 who are tagged in cases of arson and abduction of a former soldier.