Cops file raps vs. DPWH worker for grenade blast that injures 3

The scene of the grenade throwing incident*PNP photo

The police filed complaints for three counts of frustrated murder against a Department of Public Works and Highways job order worker before the San Carlos City Prosecutor’s Office in Negros Occidental Wednesday afternoon, February 28, for hurling a grenade at a coffee shop that resulted in the injury of three and damage to two vehicles.

However, it will be up to the city prosecutor to determine the appropriate charge to file in court against the suspect, PMaj. Ryan Villasario, San Carlos deputy police chief, said.

The suspect, whose name was withheld by the police, threw a grenade at the “Kapehan sa Medina” at the Eco-Tourism Highway at Sitio Medina, Barangay Rizal, San Carlos City, at 11:08 a.m. on Tuesday, February 27.

The coffee shop owner Leonora Masaba, 75, her son Julius, 42, and helper Rochelle Larisma, 34, were injured and brought to the San Carlos City Hospital, the police said.

The windshield of the black Mitsubishi Xpander owned by PSMaster Sgt. Leonardo Luague, 55, who is assigned at the Dumaguete Police Station, was damaged.

Also damaged was a motorcycle of a relative of the victims.

San Carlos Mayor Renato Gustilo said the suspect was immediately apprehended.

It was an isolated case, San Carlos City is still a safe place to live in, he assured.

PLt.Col. Nazer P. Canja, San Carlos police chief, said the suspect was identified by an eyewitness present at the scene of the crime and was arrested at his residence at Brgy. Punao at about 6 p.m. Tuesday. The helmet and motorcycle used during the grenade throwing were also found in his possession.

The motive behind the attack has yet to be determined, Canja said.

Canja lauded the San Carlos City Risk Reduction Management Command Center for assisting in the identification of the suspect, especially the getaway motorcycle.

The bounty of P150,000 offered by Gustilo for those could provide information on the whereabouts of the suspect, which was to take effect after 24 hours from the incident, was not used since the suspect was immediately arrested by police, he said.

Gustilo said measures will be implemented to prevent crimes from occurring in San Carlos City.

The mayor, in a Facebook post, said he would release an executive order disallowing motorcycle drivers from using helmets, bonnets, and long facemasks within the city.

Gustilo urged citizens to be vigilant and report suspicious activities.

He also encouraged crime victims to file cases against suspects to stop them from recommitting unlawful acts.

“We should strengthen our efforts to monitor any suspicious activities that may undermine our security, and increase police visibility and patrols to ensure public safety,” he said.

Canja said the regional police director instructed them to intensify monitoring of establishments selling PNP uniforms, and directed local PNP personnel to coordinate with security guards to report suspicious behavior of persons wearing uniforms of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Joe Recalex Alingasa Jr. said the city would also establish a hotline where citizens can report any suspicious or unusual activity 24/7.*

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