Violence in Cotabato City: Grenade attack, ambush
COTABATO CITY — A still unidentified man on a motorbike tossed a hand grenade in front of the house of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairperson Sheriff Abas in this city on Tuesday morning.
Sukarno Utto, administrator of Barangay Rosary Heights 3, said the man was on board a black NMax motorbike, and lobbed the grenade when he passed by Abas’ house at around 7:30 a.m.
“Nobody was hurt in the blast,” Utto said in radio interview. “The surroundings inside the well-fenced home had shrapnel marks,” he added.
The grenade landed at the mini-garden inside the Abas residential compound at Narra Street, Barangay Rosary Heights 3.
Abas was not around when the grenade attack happened.
An hour later, unidentified gunmen ambushed Pedro Tato Jr., head of the Cotabato City General Services Office (GSO) at Sebastian Street.
His driver, Dandy Anonat, 30, was critically injured.
Almedras Renabor, city public safety officer, said Tato suffered shoulder and body injuries but was in stable condition at a local hospital.
“Two motorbikes with about three men were seen tailing Tato’s service vehicle from San Pablo Village and opened fire near the gate of Cotabato Regional and Medical Center,” Renabor said.
The police recovered empty shells of a caliber .45 pistol at the crime scene.
Police investigators are also establishing the motive of the attack.
City Mayor Bruce Matabalao condemned the ambush and grenade attack.
“Such a remorseless act of violence is abominable and must not be perpetrated,” Matabalao said as he offered P300,000 for anyone who could provide information leading to the identification and arrest of the suspects.
“No stone must be left unturned,” he added as he directed the police to address gun violence in the city and waste no time in the operation against the proliferation of illegal firearms.