ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/27 October) – A bomb explosion rocked an east coast barangay here, killing a construction worker and injuring six others, including a businessman, Senior Insp. Elmer Acuña, chief of the Police Station 3, said.
Acuña said the explosion took place shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Sangali, 25 kilometers east of this city.
Three other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered in the same barangay and were detonated by the Zamboanga City Police Office’s explosive ordnance demolition personnel.
Killed was Lobeto Ibañez, 19, a construction worker and a native of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte.
Wounded were Jaime Toribio, 50, a businessman, Romeo Ebac, 45, Rizaldo Rebollos, 50, Natividad Taripe, 75, Karen Medalla, 18, and Herbert Manlangit.
ZCPO director Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo said the bomb exploded when Ibañez touched an abandoned plastic bag containing vegetables which was left under one of the tables at the eatery owned by Toribio.
The police learned that Ibañez, who was working in a nearby construction of a bank building, was eating his supper at the eatery when allegedly someone ordered him to bring the plastic bag to a pile of firewood outside the establishment.
The plastic bag’s content, which turned out to be a bomb, exploded after Ibañez allegedly went back to the firewood pile and tried to open the plastic bag, the police learned.
De Ocampo said the bomb exploded just after the EOD detonated an improvised bomb at a lottery outlet located about a hundred meters away from the eatery.
Sangali barangay chair Leopoldo Toribio said the bomb, placed inside a plastic bag, was discovered by the lottery bettors at around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The village chief said this prompted them to report to Acuña, who in turn requested De Ocampo to send the EOD personnel to Sangali to detonate the explosive.
A few minutes after the explosion, the EOD personnel detonated another bomb found in front of the village’ health center, also located about a hundred meters away from the eatery.
A fourth improvised bomb was discovered at around 6:30 a.m. Thursday inside a grocery owned by the Toribio family. It was also detonated by the EOD.
Initial post-blast investigation showed the type of bombs that exploded and detonated were Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil (ANFO) type of explosives with one-inch concrete nails as shrapnels.
The barangay of Sangali serves as one of the trading centers in this city’s east coast as it is where the fishing port of the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority is located.
The 100-megawatt power plant of the Western Mindanao Power Corporation is also located in the village of Sangali. (MindaNews)