By Wilnard Bacelonia

Senator Ronald dela Rosa (PNA file photo by Avito Dalan) 

MANILA – Senator Ronald dela Rosa on Thursday said he believed there was no failure of intelligence on the recent explosion inside the Dimaporo Gymnasium of the Mindanao State University (MSU) Marawi City that claimed four fatalities and injured 50 others.

He said that it seemed to be more of a failure to act on the intelligence received by authorities before the blast.

Senator Ronald dela Rosa, during the launching of the Defense and Sporting Arms Show of the Association of Firearms and Ammunition Dealers, Inc. held at SMX Mall of Asia on Thursday, said that it seems more of a failure to act on the intelligence received by authorities prior to the incident.

Parang lumalabas na there was no failure of intelligence kasi may mga nauna nang balita patungkol dito na may mga balak silang gagawin, pero yun nga baka merong (It’s like there was no failure of intelligence because there was information about this beforehand that they would do something but maybe there is) failure to appreciate intelligence or failure to perform security preparations based on the intelligence,” Dela Rosa said.

Kasi kahit na merong impormasyon, ah wala yan. Kapag binalewala mo yung intelligence report, wala kang gagawing kaukulang aksyon then sigurado na pagdating sa atake, you will be defenseless. Hindi ka handa (Because even if you have the information but you chose to ignore the intelligence report and not do any action then for sure when the attack happens, you will be defenseless. You were not prepared),” he added.

On Monday, Dela Rosa delivered a privilege speech on the MSU bombing which was already referred to the Senate Committees on National Defense and Public Order to set a schedule for a public hearing.

Senators led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri convened on Wednesday an executive session with the Department of National Defense, National Security Council, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines to discuss the MSU bombing.

With police investigators having the names and faces of the “persons of interest” in the attack, Dela Rosa urged authorities to launch a rigorous manhunt operation.

The PNP also released the photos and identities of the two persons of interest linked to the bombing.

The suspects were identified as Kadapi Mimbisa, alias Engineer, and his son Arsani Mimbisa, who goes by the alias Khatab.

Intel upgrade

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) meanwhile, stressed the need to upgrade its intelligence capabilities in the wake of the MSU bombing.

In an interview with reporters, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said these upgrades are needed to ensure that all possible threats can be covered and dealt with accordingly.

Aguilar, meanwhile, said they are also looking at reports that the Dec. 3 bombing might be connected to the 2017 Marawi siege.

“Pwedeng may kaugnayan po sa mga dating kasama ng umatake sa Marawi nun ang involved dito sa latest na bombing sa MSU. In fact, yung dalawa pong identified are in fact remnants of the DI (Daulah Islamiyah)-Maute Group (It’s possible that those involved in this latest bombing in MSU are connected to those involved in the Marawi attack. In fact, the two suspects identified are remnants of the DI-Maute Group),” he added.

Aguilar said they are not ruling out the possibility that the two suspects have links to foreign terrorists. (with report from Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)