Petty crime, not terrorism, eyed in Iligan blast

Posted at 05/06/2012 3:02 PM | Updated as of 05/07/2012 11:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A high-ranking official in the military ruled out terrorism in the Iligan City blast that killed at least two people and hurt 20 others on Saturday night.

Philippine Army 103rd Brigade commander Col. Daniel Lucero said they are inclined to believe that the attack is only a “petty crime.”

"Many are speculating that it’s terrorism, [but] it’s not… So far, based on the (bomb) signature, it's petty crime. That's our assessment, that's the maximum. That is what we are looking into," he told reporters.

Citing initial information gathered, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said the bomb exploded around 7:57 p.m. along Roxas Avenue, in front of the El Centro Bar and a medical store.

“(The explosion) caused the death of...unidentified victims and the wounding of more or less 20 persons,” said Cabangbang.

Officials initially reported that the bomb was an improvised explosive device, fuelling talks it was terrorism-related.

On the sidelines of the 70th commemoration of the Fall of Corregidor, President Benigno Aquino III ordered security officials to track down the suspects.

He said the government will not rest until the suspects are cornered.