Eleazar orders mahunt vs. Maguindanao blast suspects

POST-BLAST SCENARIO. Army and police bomb experts conduct an investigation at the Datu Piang covered court on Sept. 18, 2021. The suspected grenade, hurled by still unidentified suspects injured eight spectators of a volleyball game. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Sunday directed the Police Regional Office Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO BAR) to conduct a thorough investigation into the explosion in Maguindanao that left eight people injured.

Eleazar also instructed the local police to coordinate with the military in identifying and arresting the perpetrators of the attack.

“Inatasan ko na ang Regional Director PRO BAR na makipagtulungan sa local military forces, hindi lamang sa pagsasagawa ng manhunt sa mga taong responsible dito, kundi pati na rin sa pagpapa-igting ng seguridad sa Maguindanao at ilang mga lugar kung saan maaring mangyari ang ganitong klaseng karahasan (I have instructed the Regional Director PRO BAR to cooperate with the local military forces, not only in conducting a manhunt on the people responsible for it, but also in tightening security in Maguindanao and some areas where the this kind of violence might happen also),” Eleazar said in a video message.

Reports reaching the PNP chief’s office indicated that the blast happened while a volleyball game was ongoing in a covered court in Datu Piang town center on Saturday afternoon.

No one was reported killed in the incident.

Authorities are still validating if the suspects had used a phone-triggered improvised explosive device in the attack.

Eleazar, meanwhile, called on residents in the area to immediately report to authorities if they noticed any actions that could pose threats in the community, noting that information from citizens has been helpful for the police in preventing atrocities.

Probe into death of delivery rider

Eleazar also ordered the Manila Police District (MPD) to investigate the death of a delivery rider in Tondo, Manila in what appeared to be an accidental firing involving a police officer.

He made the directive after relatives of Jason Capistrano claimed that a bullet that killed the victim came from the service firearm of Cpl. Oliver Ferrer, who is assigned at the MPD Station 1.

“I have already asked the Director, MPD about this case and the initial investigation revealed that the policeman and the victim are friends and it was a case of irresponsible gun ownership. The policeman was already disarmed, detained, and a case of homicide was already referred to the Prosecutor’s Office aside from the administrative charges that would be filed against him,” Eleazar said.

Based on the initial report, Ferrer went to Barangay 183, Zone 16 to visit chairman Joseph Lipasana in Gagalangin. While they were waiting outside the barangay hall, Ferrer allegedly toyed with his firearm in front of the victim. It went off and hit Capistrano.

Capistrano was rushed to Chinese General Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

MPD chief Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco said Ferrer had surrendered and he was already disarmed.

Eleazar expressed sympathy to the family of Capistrano, assuring them that the incident would be thoroughly probed.

On Saturday, Eleazar ordered the regular conduct of gun safety and marksmanship training for all PNP uniformed personnel, especially those assigned on the ground.

He explained that as the PNP is promoting and requiring responsible gun ownership for civilians who want to own firearms, the standard on gun safety and shooting skills must be high for police personnel.

“I have already issued a directive for the regular conduct of gun safety and marksmanship training purposely to avoid cases like this,” he said. “Maging aral sana ito sa mga nagmamay-ari ng baril, lalo na sa mga kapulisan, na hindi laruan at kailanman ay hindi dapat ipagmayabang ang pagkakaroon ng baril (May this be a lesson to gun owners, especially to the police, that they are not toys and should never brag about having a gun).” (PNA)

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Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph

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