Blast kills 2, hurt 12 in Trinidad Day
High on drugs and drunk, a 22-year-old farmer ruined the Foundation Day revelry of Trinidad on Monday when the hand grenade he lobbed at a person in the public market area exploded, killing two persons and injuring a dozen others.
Trinidad chief of police, PSInsp. Aldrin Villacampa, identified the suspect as one Dinoberto Fuentes, a resident of Purok 7 in barangay San Vicente, Trinidad and a member of Talibon-Trinidad Integrated Farmers Association (TTIFA).
The suspect had a drinking spree nearby the public market and even showed off the hand grenade, but his friends just took it for granted.
According to the accounts of some witnesses, his friends went home ahead of him.
When already alone, the suspect allegedly had an altercation with another person at the public market, and he aimed the hand grenade at the person.
The incident occurred at around 4:30 p.m. on September 1 wherein three of the 12 persons injured were in critical condition.
Bystanders in the vicinity of the public market in Trinidad subdued the suspect and mauled him, then the barangay tanods responded before the police team arrived to arrest him.
The suspect even tried to flee, but was pinned down by the tanods.
One Nestor Bernales died on the spot, a resident of Mabini. Another casualty identified as one Fidela Cajes, a 47-year-old vendor and resident of Purok 5 in Liberty, Bien Unido was declared on arrival at the hospital in Talibon.
The three victims in critical conditions rushed to Governor Celestino Gallares Regional Hospital in Tagbilaran were identified as Josephine Ytang Pobadora, 20 years old, her 33-year-old sister Jennifer Pobadora—both residents of Poblacion, Trinidad; and Maria Luga Autentico of barangay La Victoria in Trinidad who sustained 11 cuts from splinters, with more serious wounds in the nape and the back of the body.
Seven of the nine other injured persons—all residents of Trinidad–were rushed to the hospital in Talibon and were identified as John Lennon Dungol–10 years old, Aljun Dungol—12 years old, Julito Dacuplo—29-year-old vendor from Tagum Norte; George Flores—45 years old, from barangay Soom; Luciana dela Peña—49 years old, from barangay La Victoria; Lorenzo Aparicio—66 years old from Poblacion; and Lorna Capillares–also from Poblacion.
The two other injured identified as Juan Sumalinog—66 years old from Guinobatan; and Rosemarie Labao were already out of the hospital.
According to Trinidad Mayor Judith Cajes, three of the suspect’s friends who had drinking spree with him that afternoon—also from barangay San Vicente—were summoned to the police in the evening.
They all attested that the suspect indeed bragged about the hand grenade and even showed it to them.
The mayor also said the suspect has been unstable in his statements to the police, even saying that he was just instructed to lob the hand grenade. But the person he pointed as the one who ordered him denied it and even attested that nobody instructed the suspect to do it.
Police continue investigating how the suspect got hold of the hand grenade, while it is possible that he belongs to a group that have access to deadly weapons, considering that being a farmer and at the young age, it was impossible for him to secure it himself.
On this, the police check on the U-boxes of motorcycles within the municipality to track down other individuals who are in possession of deadly weapons and explosives.
On the influence of drugs, the mayor admitted that Trinidad is also beset by the menace, though not as grave as in the other areas of the province.
So far, Trinidad only has users who got their source of drugs from other areas. But the mayor still aims to eradicate illegal drugs totally from her town.
The senseless blast on Monday, involving a person high on drugs, add up to the clamor to totally rid of illegal drugs in all corners of the province, the mayor concluded.
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