Two injured in van explosion at Davao City mall terminal
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – An explosion hit a passenger van at the terminal of shopping mall SM Ecoland on Wednesday, November 18, leaving its driver and conductor slightly injured.
The blast occurred around 9:40 am along Ecoland Drive, just several meters away from the mall.
"The van just offloaded passengers from the terminal outside SM when the IED exploded," said Davao City Police Office chief Vicente Danao. "It's very good it did not explode in a populated area and that the passengers already disembarked."
Two other vehicles parked along the street were also damaged by shrapnel and were covered in debris.
Initial investigation shows the van travelled from Pikit, North Cotabato.
Danao said police are considering various angles, including personal grudge against the owner of the van. Authorities said the owner of the van divulged the existence of illegal van terminals in the city, prompting a recent crackdown.
"We cannot discount any possibility," the police chief said.
Danao also said that even if Davao is considered one of the safest cities in the world, there is always the threat of terror attacks. "But life must go on. We can't allow an act of terror to slow down our lives."
Acting Davao City Mayor Paolo Duterte, who visited the blast site, has ordered police and the military to beef up security measures.
– with reports from Editha Caduaya and Karlos Manlupig/Rappler.com