Cop sacrifices himself to lessen casualties in Initao College grenade blast
MANILA, Philippines – If it weren’t for Police Senior Master Sergeant Jason Magno’s sacrifice, more people could have died in a grenade that exploded at Initao College in Misamis Oriental on Thursday morning.
This was what Brig. Gen. Rolando Anduyan, Northern Mindanao police chief, said after Magno single-handedly covered a hand grenade to protect students and other civilians in the school.
Earlier, Ebrahim Ampaso Basher, 65, carried an explosive on his way to a covered court of the school. Anduyan described the school as an open area and had a few police officers nearby for security.
When Basher saw police officers near the covered court, he threw the grenade at the side and pulled out an ice pick, Anduyan said.
Anduyan said a civilian subdued Basher while Magno dropped down and covered the grenade to protect a female student. The grenade, however, exploded.
“Pero yung police natin medyo sudden, nakita niya [Magno] yung grenade, graduate ng EOD [Explosive Ordnance Division]. ‘Yun dinapa niya niligtas yung estudyanteng babae na until now nasa hospital,” Anduyan told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
[Our police officers are responsive. Magno saw the grenade; he was a graduate of EOD. He knelt and saved a female student, who is now critically injured and being treated at a hospital.]
“Instinct niya isubdue yung explosive dinrop niya yung body niya naging shelf para yung casualty hindi kabigat. Kasi kung di nangyari yun maraming ano dun,” Anduyan added.
[It is his instinct to subdue the explosive. He dropped down his body and became a human shield…If he did not do that, many would be injured and killed.]
Anduyan said Magno lived in the town and cared so much for the residents around him.
The attack injured Magno and injuring 10 students and Police Senior Master Sergeant Alice Balido, who was near the area. Magno, later on, succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital.
Police probes DENR argument
Prior to the incident, Basher had a heated argument with officers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Initao.
Anduyan said police are still looking into Basher’s relationship with Initao town’s DENR personnel.
“It started when nahulihan siya ng logs ng DENR [DENR was caught him with logs.]. They are still trying to find out kung ano relationship nila [his relationship] with DENR,” Anduyan said.
Basher reportedly left the pin of the hand grenade at the DENR office which prompted DENR personnel to vacate the place.
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