Armed men throw grenade at provincial prosecutor’s compound in Davao del Sur | Inquirer News

Armed men throw grenade at provincial prosecutor’s compound in Davao del Sur

/ 02:41 PM October 28, 2013

DIGOS CITY, Philippines – Unidentified armed men staged a fresh attack just a few hours before Davao del Sur’s more than 500,000 voters trooped to their precincts for the barangay (village) polls and plebiscite for the creation of Davao Occidental.

The grenade explosion that occurred inside the residential compound of Provincial Prosecutor Artemio Tajon on Estrada 1st St., around 1 a.m., Monday, was the fourth attack recorded in the province in the run-up to the barangay elections and took place even as the Commission on Elections has placed the entire province under its control.

A six-hour curfew starting 10 p.m., Sunday, was also prevailing over the province at the time of the attack on Tajon, known here as favoring the creation of Davao Occidental.


Superintendent Querubin Manalang, acting city police chief, said witnesses recounted seeing a black pickup truck speeding away from the direction of Tajon’s house shortly before the explosion took place.


Manalang said the prosecutor and his family were unscathed but the grenade explosion damaged a portion of the government prosecutor’s house. Scene of the Crime Operatives had also recovered parts of the explosive, which indicated that it could be a Belgian-made PRB 423 anti-personnel fragmentation grenade, he said.

On Sunday dawn, unidentified gunmen also fired at the barangay hall of Matti, injuring civilian volunteer organization member.

At about the same time the gunmen were shooting at the Matti barangay hall, another group of armed men were lobbing molotov bombs toward school buildings at the Don Mariano Elementary School in Barangay Zone 3 and the Isaac Abalayan Elementary School in Barangay San Jose.

No damage was reported as the molotov bombs missed the school building, Senior Supt. Ronaldo Llanera, the provincial police chief, said.

Manalang said the police have started investigating the attacks, including the one on Tajon.

But Llanera said Sunday’s attacks were apparently election-related and were aimed at disrupting the conduct of the village polls and the plebiscite.


Sources told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the pro-Davao Occidental sentiment was stronger in the three villages even if some barangay officials, particularly in Zone 3, were known to have campaigned hard for the rejection of the law that sought the creation of the separate province.

Llanera said he was not certain about what the sources had claimed but maintained that the rivalry among politicians in the province has been intense, which was why the police believed the incidents on Sunday were election-related.

Even the issue on the division of the province has become another thorn at the side of politicians, that those opposing it went to as far as the Supreme Court to have the plebiscite blocked. The high court threw out that petition, which gave the Comelec the green light to conduct the plebiscite.

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As to the attack on Tajon, Llanera said the city police were still conducting a follow up investigation.

TAGS: Davao Occidental, Elections, Explosion, News, Plebiscite, Regions

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