Extort eyed in Kidapawan grenade blast; bomber wanted celfone

The explosive failed to explode but still caused panic among salesladies and
costumers, the police added.

City Police director Chief Inspector Leo Ajero said the suspect, about 30
years old and 5 feet and 4 inches, was seen in the store Friday.

The store, which opened only recently, has been receiving threats and
extortion from an unknown group.

Ajero said that minutes before the grenade throwing, the perpetrator warned
the sales in-charge he would bomb the store if she refused to hand him a
brand new cellular phone that was on display.

When she refused, the suspect took the grenade from his jacket, lobbed it,
and ran away, leaving behind his slippers and coat.

Meanwhile, the police in Kabacan, North Cotabato launched Friday a massive
manhunt against a group of teenagers who was believed to be behind the
grenade blast inside the state-owned University of Southern Mindanao.

The bombing took place 10:25 p.m. Thursday and injured a village official in
Kabacan, two vendors, and three college students who had just come out of
the gymnasium where they watched a show.

Col. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of the 602nd Brigade of the Army based in
Carmen, North Cotabato, said that the blast was caused by a "fraternity war"
in USM.

The USM was holding a week-long sports fest when the explosion took place.

Pabustan said there were lapses on the part of the USM and suggested that
tight security measures should be implemented to prevent similar incidents.

A week before the blast, a grenade was found at the school's parade ground,
an hour before the sports fest opened. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)