IED attack on Governors convoy in Masbate 2 hurt

11 01 2009

While this is not the first time a IED has been used in violent assasination attempts in the Philippines – but the roadside bomb attack is mostly confined to Mindanao and may indicate a new level of threat as other groups adopt tactics that ussaully have been the handwork of insurgents in other parts of the country.

The was the highly visable attack on congress a while back – does first come to mind as one of the most recent attempts outside of areas of conflict in Mindanao where bombs have been used. But this attack does raise concerns of safety and securty as well as a new threat form in use.

Masbate does have a history of politcal violence – clan warfare there has stunted development as well as a active insurgent presence that has detered investors.i But reports about the attack on the governor this relatively remote Philippine province in which Governor Elisa Kho and a security aide hurt in the attack where two Improvised explosive devices went off on a road as their convoy passed, does have Police looking at many possible threat sources.

Governor Elisa Kho was in Gahit village, Cataingan town Police Provincial Director Senior Superintendant Reuben Theodore Sindac, in a report to Manila said “Two bombs went off on the left side of the road as Governor Kho’s cars drove through the area,”

“The governor was slightly wounded on her eyebrow’ due to glass particles from the shattered windshield,” Sen. Supt. Sindac said. both Kho and her escourt were given first aid and have been isolated in a secure location to keep them ‘ safe from harm’ at a beach resort. Police EOD and Investigation officersare at the scene of the blast investigators hope to “track down the perpetrators, as investigators look into a motive for the attack on Gov. Kho.” Sen. Supt.Kho said in a radio interview in Manila.

Police note further that “possible motives are political rivals, as well as that communist rebels are involved,” Communist guerrillas of the New Peoples Army have been fighting in Masbate for over three decades they Police say are group with the technical knowhow to carry out a IED attack. NPA rebels have used IED’s in other parts of the central Philippines as well as landmines in recent attacks on Government forces.
Earlier a rebel command had issued directives for increased attacks in the central Philippines after plans were announced of a joint US-Philippine military excercise in the nearby Bicol region.

The attack on the governor however security experts point out is more likely to have been politcal in nature since Masbate politics has a history of violent past attacks on public figures and political leaders. Elections are scheduled in the Philippine in May of 2010.
Political violence is often a tactic used in provinces where political private armed security forces often are better equipted than those of the local police, military, or rebel groups.




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