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PIA Press Release
2008/07/12

Army decries unfair accusations on Comval grenade blast

by RG Alama

Davao City (12 July) -- Officers of the Philippine Army has branded as unfair the accusations linking them to the July 3 grenade throwing incident that killed three people at a bakery in Nabunturan town in Compostela Valley province.

"Our soldiers will never do this," Major Alvin Luzon of the Army's 1003rd Infantry Brigade speaking before the Kapihan sa Comval press forum held last July 9 at the Provincial Capitol in Nabunturan. "It is inhumane, unimaginable act that only a desperate group would do," Major Luzon bewailed the accusations which were heaped on them.

The Army officer blamed the New People's Army on spreading the accusations; the communist group had blamed the army for the act hours after the incident. The grenade blast occurred a last July 3 at around 12 midnight and killed a habal-habal driver and two students who were resting in the Park n Go bakery after winning a dance contest held in a nearby school, the blast also wounded 11 others.

Luzon said that it is better to await the findings of a Task Force formed to investigate the incident. He said that despite losing their comrades, the Army would not stoop down as to hit unarmed civilians just to get revenge.

The Major was referring to the incident last June 30 where two soldiers were gunned down by suspected NPA hitmen while they were having lunch at an eatery in Nabunturan.

Meanwhile the Philippine National Police Provincial Director P/Supt. Ronald dela Rosa said that the task force has identified a likely angle on the grenade blast. One of the injured habal-habal driver, identified the grenade-thrower as the person holding a grudge against him.

The Comval Police Director said that based on testimony of the witness it is highly likely that the incident was a case of personal grudge held against one of the victims of the incident.

Dela Rosa said the habal-habal driver who was at the bakery during the incident is believed to be the target of the grenade-thrower. The habal-habal driver who is a former soldier used his military training to minimize the effects of the blast.

"When he saw the grenade, by instinct he immediately dropped to the ground, but those students they never knew what to do in that kind of situation." The police director said. The task force has identified the grenade use as a M-61 fragmentation grenade, which have a kill radius of five meters and a casualty range of 15 meters. (PIA) [top]

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