Blast rocks Kidapawan City village

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/14 August) — A grenade went off in a Moro-dominated village here while residents were preparing for the Ramadan or fasting, around 10 p.m., on Thursday.

The grenade exploded inside the compound of Barangay Patadon-East councilor Satar Manalundong, police reports said.

No one was hurt during the explosion, but the shrapnel hit the gate and the front portion of Manalundong’s house and nearby farmers’ hall.

Manalundong said they were busy preparing food they would take prior to the start of fasting the next day when they heard a loud explosion.

He said the incident could be related to the heated altercation hours earlier between him and Barangay Chair Inday Patadon inside the Commission on Elections office here, where voters registered for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election scheduled in October this year.

He got irked when Patadon allegedly refused to issue certifications to three of his relatives so they could register at the Comelec, saying they were not residents of the place.

He told the Comelec many of Patadon’s supporters who were able to register last Thursday were allegedly not residents of the village but had come from Barangay Dinaig, Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.

Manalundong had asked the Comelec to exclude the so-called ‘unscrupulous’ voters from the list, which earned the ire of Patadon.

Patadon and Manalundong have their own candidates for the barangay elections.

Patadon denied Manalundong’s accusation that she was behind the explosion. She said the councilor himself stage-managed it.

“It wasn’t me.  It was him that lobbed the grenade to show that somebody was after him.  I was told Manalundong failed to deliver the number of voters needed for the registration.  It was because I did not allow his supporters, who are not residents of the village, to register at the Comelec. He has gotten funds from a city councilor here for the registration,” said Patadon in the vernacular.

City election registrar Diosdado Javier said that questions on the legitimacy of the voters that registered this week must file a petition for exclusion at the Comelec.

Meantime, police are still clueless as to the identity of the culprits.

They are also studying the possibility that the explosion was related to the ongoing voters’ registration. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)