8 injured in CDO blast

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 21 Nov) – A grenade explosion in front of a lending firm at Barangay Lapasan here this morning injured eight people, including two employees of the firm and a security guard, reports said.

Chief Supt. Gil Hitosis, police regional director, told reporters at the crime scene that an MK2 grenade was used to booby trap the accordion door of the Golden Sun Finance Corporation.

“We are still investigating but very visible in the evidence that it was booby trapped. They hung the grenade on the door and tied the pin. So when they opened the door, the pin was removed,” said Hitosis.

He added that they are looking at the angle that a disgruntled lender of Golden Sun may have planted the grenade the night before. He also said they have yet to talk to the owner of the lending firm.

“By proximity rule, this is a finance corporation, probably they have filed a case against a lender who has failed to pay. That is one of the probable motives that we are investigating,” he said.

Injured by the blast are cashier Fritzie Tiyos, employee Evanceliza Salamanca and the building’s security guard, RJ Palma. They were rushed to the Capitol University Medical Center (CUMC) in barangay Gusa, the nearest hospital from the crime scene.

Hitosis said Palma absorbed most of the impact of the grenade since he was the one who opened the door. The grenade blast lacerated Palma’s abdomen and wounded his right leg. As of this writing, Palma is still in critical condition at the CUMC.

The five others injured are SPO2 Rogelio Mendiola, who was passing by Golden Sun en route to Camp Vicente Alagar; PUJ driver Fernando Biernes, 50, who happened to pass by the place; Roderick Cabihin was critically wounded when a shrapnel hit his head; Danny Ragrag; and retired police officer Rodolfo Gebutad. All victims were rushed to the CUMC.

Lt. Col. Julio Eugenio Osias IV, 4th Infantry Division spokesperson, told media at the crime scene that they were able to deploy their Explosives and Ordnance Division about 15 minutes after the explosion.

“Only government security forces can access an MK2 grenade. This type of grenade explodes 60 degrees upwards and has a killing radius of five meters. This grenade uses a TNT (trinitrotoluene) flex explosive,” said Osias. (Cong B. Corrales / MindaNews)