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‘Justice will be served,’ Duterte tells Midsayap blast victims

/ 08:36 PM December 25, 2016

COTABATO CITY – President Duterte on Sunday assured victims of the Christmas Eve blast in front of a Catholic Church in Midsayap, North Cotabato that justice will be served.

Scheduled for 1 p.m. the President arrived at about 4 p.m., motored to Aniceto Pesante Memorial Hospital and briefly talk to blast victims.

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Cheyserr Rosete, 28, who was hit in the legs, was grateful the President saw her. “Gwapo ni President, mabait pa (the President is handsome and kind),” she said.

“He vowed the government will shoulder all our medical expenses,” she recalled her brief encounter with the President who handed her an undetermined amount of cash assistance.

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She said she wanted to have “selfie” with the President but his visit was quick. “His visit means so much to us blast victims.”

The President also received a security briefing from local and regional police officials and talked to local officials of Midsayap, led by Mayor Romeo Arania.

A huge crowd of locals greeted the President in front of Pesante Hospital. “Duterte! Duterte!” the crowd chanted as the President emerged from his car.

He went to the crowd and shook hands with them, especially elders greeting them “Merry Christmas” despite advises from his close in security.

At least 17 persons were injured, including a police officer, after two men riding on a motorbike tossed a hand grenade under a parked police car along Roosevelt Street.

Authorities believed the attack was intended for police forces who have been receiving threats from lawless elements and drug syndicates.

The grenade attack came as the Christmas Eve Mass was in progress inside the Sto. Nino Archdiocesan Shrine at about 9:30 p.m.

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Supt. Bernard Tayong, Midsayap town police chief, said investigation showed the attack could be a retaliatory attack after police successful anti-drug operation.

Mayor Romeo Arania of Midsayap also believed the attack was not directed toward the Church but to the police.

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TAGS: drug syndicates, Midsayap blast, Philippine news updates, President Duterte
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