By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — An explosion rocked La Paz town at dawn on Thursday, January 25 killing two police officers and injuring 14 people including Abra Representative Joseph Bernos and his wife La Paz Mayor Menchie Bernos.
The explosion struck PO3 Carlos Bocaig and PO2 Frenzel Kitoyan, both from the Abra provincial police, who died while undergoing treatment. Bocaig, who is from Boliney, Abra was a member of the Special Action Force 84th Seaborne, who battled local militias in the botched operation to capture an Indonesian terrorist in Mamasapano, Maguindnao.
Today, January 25 is the third year anniversary of the Mamasapano operations that killed 44 Speacial Action Forces (SAF) of the Philippine National Police.
The congressman and mayor were released by the local hospital.
Acting La Paz town chief of police PSI Apdilon C. Galong, PO2 Richard Basiag assigned at Danglas town, Barangay Captain Darroll Azdi B. Gonzales, Leyze Rose Pe Benito a teacher at Queen of Peace High School in La Paz were among those hurt in the blast.
Others hurt in the blast were Marc Rowjan Beronilla from La Paz; Diosdado Mina, Jayson Bernabe T. Zales and Juanito Zales all from Bucay town; Benedicto Doque Jr. and Aira Cortez from Dolores town; Ryan Jun C. Marasan from Bangued; and Eva Marie P. Sales from Peñarrubia town.
According to the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCor), the explosion happened at around 1:30AM while the victims and others were gathered at the town plaza watching a fireworks display as part of the town’s fiesta.
Based on initial police investigation two hand grenades exploded near the stage where the victims stayed. Investigators recovered two levers of hand grenades at the explosion site.
PROCor activated a Regional Special Investigation Task Group (RSITG) to be headed by Deputy Regional Director for Operations PCSupt Sterling Raymund Blanco to investigate the blast and facilitate its speedy resolution.
Perpetrators are yet to be identified and motive is still to be determined.
PROCor Director PCSupt Edward E Carranza called on the public to assist police officers in by providing information. he said public support is vital in the fight for peace and order. # nordis.net