MANILA, Philippines – The municipality of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay province was hit by a loud blast Sunday hours before polling precincts open in the country's first automated national and local elections.
No one was hurt in the blast that happened 9:20 p.m. near an eatery located along the highway in Barangay Pangi and owned by retired soldier Leonardo Labrador .
Labrado said he was resting inside his home when he heard a loud explosion just outside his residence. He initially thought that a tire burst causing the loud blast. He said the blast caused damage to his eatery’s concrete fence.
The retired soldier said witnesses told him that an unidentified man riding on a motorcycle lobbed the explosive that directly hit his fence.
Labrador said he believes he was not the main target of the attack. He said the incident might be election-related.
Senior Superintendent Federico Castro, Zamboanga Sibugay provincial director, said the incident could be a strategy of some politicians in the province to create fear among residents and voters to discourage them from voting when polls open Monday morning.
The bomb, according to Castro, was a pipebomb-type. However, no shrapnel was reportedly found at the blast site.
On Saturday, a bomb went off along the highway in Barangay Lantawan in the town of Buug. No one was hurt in the blast. Report from RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga