2 suspects in Cotabato City’s grenade attack in December charged

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 11 January) — Authorities filed multiple frustrated murder complaints against two suspects in last month’s grenade blast in Cotabato City that wounded 12 persons, including eight members of the Army’s Special Forces, the city’s chief of police said.

Colonel Portia Manalad, city director of the Cotabato City Police Office, said they used as basis in filing the complaints the affidavits from some of those who witnessed the grenade blast on December 22, 2019, a few meters away from the Immaculate Conception cathedral.

Army and police explosive ordnance experts conduct investigation on the Sunday evening (22 December 2019) bombing along Sinsuat Avenue near the entrance at Pedro Colina Hill in Cotabato City. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

Manalad said that based on their intelligence reports, the suspects are guns-for-hire.

The suspects, she added, belong to a syndicate or an armed group whose target were the soldiers assigned at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Cotabato City.

The wounded soldiers were members of the 5th Special Forces Company of the 6th Infantry Division.

Manalad said the complaints were filed at the Cotabato City Prosecutor’s Office on Friday. She declined to name the suspects, citing security reasons.

She said they have intensified their manhunt to arrest the suspects immediately.

Some witnesses described the suspects to be likely in their teens but Manalad confirmed they were already above 18.

“Akala lang nila, teenager pa ang mga suspects.  Pero sa profiling natin, lagpas na sila sa 18 years old.  They are guns-for-hire and belong to an armed group,” she said.

Minutes after the blast in Cotabato City on December 22, a bomb fashioned out from an 81-mm mortar exploded in Libungan town in North Cotabato, injuring seven persons.  In North Upi in Maguindanao, bomb experts detonated an improvised explosive device, also on that day. (Malu Cadelina-Manar / MindaNews)