Dec 122014

PNoy off to SoKor for 25th ASEAN-Korea summit

PNoy off to SoKor for 25th ASEAN-Korea summit. President Benigno Aquino III, escorted by AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., reviews the honor guard during a send-off ceremony at the NAIA Terminal II on Thursday, December 11. Aquino will be attending the 25th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit 2014 in Busan, South Korea. Benhur Arcayan

Security forces are working to minimize risks to passengers in the wake of a bomb explosion on a bus in Bukidnon on Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino III said on Friday.

In a meeting with reporters in Busan, South Korea, Aquino said the bomb attack — the second against a bus owned by Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. since November — has prompted authorities to “harden” terminals and buses against more bombs.

More security measures will also be put in place to screen passengers who are picked up along the bus route since they don’t have to undergo security checks at the bus terminals.

“So ibig sabihin ‘non, parang si konduktor, si driver will help to profile passengers. Iyong pintuan, isang pintuan na lang ang dadaanan para ma-account ang [mga pasahero] — things like that,” the president said.

He added authorities are considering measures like baggage tags to identify luggage that has already been checked and screened for weapons, explosives, and other contraband.

“You can ride in the terminal, pero most of these threats happen in between the terminals. So itong passengers na ito, how do we protect these buses and the riding communities from people who get in the intermediate stops,” the president said.

“We are coming up with procedures to try and harden the target by minimizing the threats posed by passengers embarking beyond the terminals,” he said.

The explosion on the RTMI bus at Maramag, Bukidnon killed 10 people and injured 31 others.

Police have filed murder and frustrated murder charges against Macmod Manipbil, whom they say escaped from the Kidapawan Provincial Jail where he was being held for frustrated murder.

Manipbil, whom authorities say is associated with the Bangamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, remains at large.

The BIFF has denied involvement in the bombing. — JDS, GMA News

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