MILF not involved in grenade blasts in Midsayap, says PNP

Supt. Reynato Hizo, officer-in-charge of the North Cotabato Provincial PNP, said the grenade blasts that injured eight persons were “directed towards certain individuals due to some personal grudges and deep-seated clan conflict.”

The first explosion happened in the afternoon of December 31 in Central Katingawan village in Midsayap, and injured Roel Elijino, 39; Erwin Benemerito, 23; Michael Vincent, 21; Charlie Eramis; Policaripio Nunez; and Rogelio Vituya.

“It was more of a love triangle. The suspect had only one target in the attack but it hit five others who were present at the time the grenade went off,” said Insp. Andamen Dicay, deputy Midsayap police chief.

Dicay, however, refused to divulge the identity of the suspect and the primary target in the attack. 

“But we already traced him and we’re now conducting hot pursuit against him,” he said.

The second grenade exploded at around 11:30 pm in Damatulan village and injured two villagers identified as Dalga and Tigao, both surnamed Pagao.

Hizo said the provincial police in North Cotabato remained on high alert “due to threats posed by rebel groups, including the MILF and the New Peoples’ Army (NPA)|.

Additional police forces were already deployed in Aleosan, Banisilan, and Alamada in North Cotabato where the recent attacks allegedly led by the MILF took place, according to Hizo. 

The MILF, through civil military affairs head Eid Kabalu, has admitted it was their group that launched attacks in Aleosan town last December 23. 

“Our local MILF in the area were harassed by the soldiers and CAFGUs.   They were left with no choice but to retaliate when they were attacked,” said Kabalu. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)

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