Koronadal court hearing on pawnshop-rob-homicide cancelled due to bomb threat
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – A bomb scare at the Hall of Justice in Koronadal City on Wednesday noon forced the suspension of the hearing of the case against one of the suspects in the Sept. 18 Agencia Brillantes pawnshop robbery.
Regional Trial Court Branch 24 Judge Lorenzo Balo said the robbery and homicide case hearing was postponed and would be re-scheduled for next week because of the bomb threat.
At noon Wednesday, a court employee received a text message about the supposed bomb at the Hall of Justice building that would explode anytime. This forced court employees to abandon the building.
The bomb threat came hours before the court hearing of Khadaffy Guiamelon, one of the suspects in the robbery at Agencia Brillantes.
A video footage from the establishment’s CCTV camera showed four armed men barging inside the pawnshop, shooting dead its security guard and taking away some P600,000 worth of jewelry and other valuables.
The video footage went viral on the Internet.
Before fleeing, the robbers lobbed a hand grenade to prevent lawmen from pursuing them. The grenade failed to explode and was properly disposed of by Army and police bomb experts.
Guiamelon was arrested in a raid on his safehouse in Cotabato City on Sept. 22, or four days after the robbery.
“We are resetting the hearing of the charges against Guiamelon,” Judge Balo told reporters.
After the threat was reported to authorities, the Police Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD) Team was immediately dispatched to search the area.
Insp. Joseph Carlos Madrid, Koronadal City PNP chief investigator, said no bomb was found.
Following the incident, security has been tightened in and outside the Hall of Justice as well as the South Cotabato provincial jail where Guiamelon is detained.
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