Suspect behind Manila resto grenade attack falls in QC checkpoint
MANILA, Philippines — The man tagged responsible for the grenade attack of a restaurant in Manila was arrested in Quezon City on Tuesday after trying to avoid a police checkpoint.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Wednesday said members of the Fairview police station flagged down suspect Luis Castillo Cariño, 38, for not wearing a helmet while driving his Yamaha 110 Crypton motorcycle (BO9515) along Mindanao Extension at Barangay Greater Lagro.
Upon seeing the policemen, Cariño sped off but officers managed to block him. After a body search, police allegedly found a sachet of shabu in Cariño’s pocket and a hand grenade inside the suspect’s bag.
Cariño was turned over to the Fairview police station for further investigation where he later admitted that he was the motorcycle riding man who threw a hand grenade at the doorstep of C-Foods Restaurant located at C. Aguila Street in San Miguel District, Tondo, Manila last Sept. 14.
In a press conference at Camp Karingal in Quezon City, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the suspect eventually admitted to the crime due to pressure as the restaurant was located within the vicinity of Malacañang.
“After a few minutes, the suspect seemed like he has something to hide, knowing that this particular incident [restaurant incident] called the attention of the public. Maybe, the suspect had just realized that the restaurant was near Malacañang,” Eleazar said in Filipino.
“He was scared for his life which was why he eventually said the truth,” he added.
When asked about the suspect’s motive, Eleazar said Cariño was paid to throw a grenade at the restaurant. But Eleazar said they have yet to determine who ordered the attack.
QCPD chief Col. Ronnie Montejo said they also conducted further investigation into the grenade-throwing incident.
After working with the Manila Police District, Montejo noted that they checked closed-circuit television (CCTV) footages to prove Cariño’s involvement in the incident.
“We have CCTV footage prior to the explosion where we see him using the motorcycle. We also have footage that shows him removing his helmet which helped us identify that he was the same person. This is evidence that proves his involvement in the grenade incident,” Montejo said during the press conference.
Aside from this case, police also discovered an arrest warrant for two counts of grave threats issued against Cariño in July 2019. The warrant was issued by Presiding Judge Emilyn San Gaspar-Gito of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 5.
The shabu was sent to QCPD Crime Laboratory Office while the grenade was turned over to the QCPD-Explosive Ordnance Division for proper disposal.
The suspect will face complaints for unlawful possession of explosives, possession of illegal drugs, and resistance and disobedience to an agent or person of authority.
‘Hired for revenge’
After the press conference, Cariño said it was a customer of the restaurant who ordered him to hurl a grenade at the restaurant.
He claimed that the unidentified customer was looking for revenge after being a victim of food poisoning at the restaurant.
“Dahil po sa pagkakalason ng tao para makabawi po siya hindi po siya inintindi ng may-ari ng store. Yun po nag-utos [yung customer],” he said.
[This was so because he was a victim of food poisoning. He wanted revenge. The restaurant’s owner did not helped him. It was the customer who ordered me to do so.]
He clarified that he did not meet with the customer personally but an accomplice of the former talked to him about the planned attack.
Cariño revealed that he was forced to take the job because he needed money to provide for his family.
“I needed the money to provide for my kids. I don’t have a job. I was not aware that what I did was a big problem,” he said in Filipino.
He disclosed that he was given cash worth P10,000 to cause chaos at the restaurant.
When asked about another grenade found in his bag, Cariño said it was an extra grenade and that he planned to hide it in a province such as in Bulacan. /jpv
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