Cops eye land row in QC twin blasts


THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD A member of the Quezon City police bomb squad secures the blast site on Ilocos Sur Street in Bago Bantay. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Twin explosions believed to be stemming from a property dispute injured a man and destroyed two cars in Bago Bantay, Quezon City, before dawn Friday.

Quezon City Police director Senior Supt. Richard Albano said the wrecked vehicles—a blue Opel Vectra and a green Hyundai Matrix—were parked in front of a compound on Ilocos Sur Street in Barangay Ramon Magsaysay.

A bystander, Virgilio Agito, suffered cuts from shattered glass in the face, knee and right foot.

The vehicles were undergoing repairs at an automotive shop owned by Joel Tating, who claims to own the compound but is being challenged by a tenant who is a lawyer, Albano said.

Two explosions rocked the neighborhood around 2 a.m., causing the Vectra to flip on its side and sending its hood to the roof of a neighboring house. The glass windows of four nearby houses were shattered while a water pipe was also damaged.

The QCPD has yet to determine the type of explosives used and whether they were planted under the vehicles.

For the possible motive behind the blasts, investigators are looking into the longstanding dispute between the Tatings and the lawyer-tenant, whose name was not made public pending an investigation.

In a meeting with Albano, Tating and his wife said they left the property in 2005 after an armed robbery that killed their helper and wounded Joel’s mother.

They returned four years later and, despite having papers to back their claim, encountered problems with the lawyer-tenant as well as the informal settlers who had put up stalls outside the compound, the couple said.

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