4 civilians hurt in IED blast in Legazpi City
LEGAZPI CITY –– Four civilians were wounded Sunday when the car they were riding was hit by shrapnel from an improvised explosive device (IED) that exploded along the road in an upland village of Legazpi City, a Philippine Army (PA) report said Monday.
Captain Ronnel Cabagnan, head of the Civil-Military Operations of the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion, identified the wounded as Romeo, 38, and Visitacion, 40, both surnamed Mariscotes; an 11-year-old girl; and Merda Paterson, a lawyer, and retired Ombudsman investigator.
The victims were aboard a car negotiating the road near Delta Homes subdivision in the sub-village of Tico-Tico of Barangay Homapon when the blast happened at 10 a.m.
The victims were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of shrapnel wounds.
The bombing incident happened eight hours after a Globe cell site, also in Homapon, was set on fire allegedly by the same NPA group that planted the IED along the road, the report said.
Cabagnan said the torching of the cell site occurred around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Before the fire broke out, villagers said they saw a group of still-unidentified persons roaming around the facility.
The rebels poured gasoline at the cabinet that houses three rectifiers, micro antenna, and other equipment, then set it on fire.
Meanwhile, Captain John Paul Belleza, chief of the public affairs office of the 9th Infantry Division, said in a phone interview that the incident was an NPA tactic to step up their extortion activities and a diversionary strategy by setting up an IED offensive against military and police responders.