5 wounded in grenade blast, Brgy captain survives attack

A GRENADE threw into a government-owned vehicle intended to a barangay captain wounded five persons, including two barangay workers, along the National Highway in Calinan Proper, Calinan District at 3:15 p.m. yesterday.

Lamanan Barangay Captain Nicanor Pepito survived the attack as he was able to pick the Mk 2 grenade and threw it outside the multicab he was driving.

Chief Insp. Leonardo Pamplona, commander of Calinan Police Precinct, identified the wounded victims as Lamanan barangay treasurer Angie Balili, Lamanan barangay tanod Antonio Jarantilla, and  bystanders Jose Entero, Jovito Zipiriano, and Jayson  Agiv.

Based on initial investigation, Pepito was driving the multicab from Lamanan going to downtown area with his live-in partner Sonia Ongcoy, barangay treasurer Balili and barangay tanods Jarantilla and Pichon Vyron.

Upon reaching Felcris, Pepito noticed two men onboard a motorcycle approached their vehicle and threw the grenade.

“When the barangay captain saw the grenade landing near his feet, he picked it and threw it back,” Pamplona said. “It was then that the grenade exploded.”

However, the panicking passengers seating at the back of the vehicles jumped off from the vehicles, and two of them were hit by the shrapnel. The explosion also hit three civilians who were in the busy highway.

The suspects fled towards Talomo area after the incident.

Pepito gave a chase, but decided to return instead to save his treasurer and the tanod.

The victims were brought by the responding Central 911 medical team to Brokenshire Hospital in downtown area for treatment.

Pepito told reporters that when he was still at their house he already felt unusual. The barangay captain said he already noted two men on a motorcycle roaming around in their house in Lamanan.

The barangay captain said they were aiding a patient who sought medical assistance at that time. The child of the patient called them and requested they would go to the office of Rep. Alberto Ungab to seek help.

The barangay captain said he was driving his vehicle slowly.

Along the way, Pepito said he noted the two men on board the motorcycle trailing them.

Upon reaching Calinan, the barangay captain said he saw on his side mirror one of the men pulling a grenade and threw into toward him.

The barangay captain revealed that since last October he has been receiving threats from still unidentified persons.

Pepito assumed the post as the barangay captain when village head Antonio Albaran was killed by still unidentified men in Sitio Quibaton, Barangay Dominga on last December 3.

Pepito said he has been implicated in the death of Albaran. He denied the allegation.

Pepito said the accusers should file a case against him in court if they have evidence to pin him in the death of Albaran.

The Calinan police investigators are yet establish the motive behind the grenade blast because they are still collating further information and statements from the witnesses and victims.

Pamplona said they are yet to discount if the New People’s Army (NPA) has a hand in the incident.

Jeffrey Tupas, the City Information Officer, said Mayor Sara Duterte yesterday ordered City Police Director Sr. Supt. Michael John Dubria to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

“Rest assured the police are on top of this isolated incident,” Tupas said. “And we assure that there is no reason to worry about the security in Davao City. This is purely isolated.”

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