Residents of th Sitio Pangayawan in Barangay Kisante accidentally found the improvised explosive device (IED) fashioned out of a 60-mm mortar, near the river some 30 meters away from the banana plantation.
Makilala PNP chief of police Insp. Ramil Hojilla said the IED was intended to explode on contact – either when touched or stumbled upon by villagers who fetch water from the river.
“Villagers and even some workers of the banana plantation refresh themselves in the river or fetch water from the area where the IED was found,” Hojilla said.
Hojilla said the accidental finding of an IED in Barangay Kisante brought panic and fear to some 300 plantation workers.
Reports circulated in the village that extortion was the motive behind the planting of an IED near the plantation.
But Hojilla said the owner of the plantation has not received threat of extortion from any armed group operating in the area.
“But still we are doing in-depth investigation in order to establish the motive and possibly determine the identity of the suspects,” Hojilla said.
A powerful explosion rocked the town plaza here in the evening of October 10, resulting to the death of six people and wounding of 29 others.
Mayor Onofre Respicio immediately ordered the local police to heighten the security in all strategic and vital locations. (Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)