Sunday, August 23, 2015

Army denies blast at Cotabato detachment accidental

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 24): Army denies blast at Cotabato detachment accidental

Army Colonel Ranulfo Sevilla, commander of the 5th Army Special Forces Battalion based here, Monday took exceptions from comments made by a Cotabato City official that the rifle grenade that exploded at an Army base last week “came from within.”

“It was not accidental, our on duty soldiers do not carry rifle grenade while manning checkpoints,” Sevilla told DXMS-AM Radyo Bida in reaction to a comment by the official before teachers in the city.

Without naming the official, Sevilla said it was an irresponsible statement and aimed at maligning the image of Special Forces. The man apparently based his comments on the photo of the guard house roof which showed it was blown off with iron sheets protruding upward.

“We have video footage the rifle grenade was fired about 75 meters away by two men on motorbike,” Sevilla said.

“Kung wala naman sanang maitulong sa investigation huwag na lang magbigay ng mali at walang basehang pahayag para i-discredit ang Army (If they cannot help in the investigation, it is best if they keep their mouth shut than issue baseless and unfounded allegations to discredit the Army.” Sevilla added.

Private 1st Class Philip Palino, who sustained serious multiple shrapnel wounds, died while undergoing medication.

Sevilla said PFC Marvin Ona who was standing nearby suffered minor injuries after a 40mm projectile landed atop a guard house at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday night.

No one has claimed responsibility but Sevilla said they have the clear image of the attackers and will file appropriate charges against them.

It was the second harassment against Special Forces based in Cotabato City since April.

On April 18, motorcycle-riding gunmen attempted to bomb a police outpost, a moving Army truck and a battalion detachment all within an hour here and in neighboring Datu Odin Sinsuat town but missed their targets.

The attacks in succession left one person injured.

At around 7:05 p.m. Saturday (April 18), motorcycle-riding gunmen lobbed a grenade near a police outpost along the national highway in Barangay Tamontaka 2, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao but no one was injured.

Police reports said the suspects lobbed the grenade while approaching the police station.

At about 7:50 p.m., the same motorcycle-riding men intentionally overtook a KM truck of the Army’s Special Forces on security patrol along Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato Ciy, and lobbed a grenade. The grenade hit driver’s window and bounced then exploded, wounding a passerby.

Minutes later, two men in motorbike tossed an improvised explosive device at the SF detachment along Notre Dame Avenue in Barangay Rosary Heights 2, the same detachment attacked tonight.

The April 18 explosive failed to go off. It was later defused by police and Amry bomb experts.

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