Davao carnival blast victims now 47-A A +A
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
DAVAO CITY -- Authorities identified on Tuesday six more spectators who were wounded in the grenade explosion at a carnival in Barangay Fatima in Paquibato District, this city, Saturday evening.
This brought to 47 the number of wounded victims in the incident, the youngest of whom is a two-year-old boy.
The six other victims were identified as Apple Joy Naraja, 15; Renah Marie Onias, 12; Santino Dora, 18; Leones Puzok, 20; Serapio Zamora Jr., 21; and Ronie Jabos, 24, all residents of Barangay Fatima.
Major Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, chief of the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division's Civil Military Operation Battalion (CMOBN), said 17 of the 47 victims are minors. Nine of them are still in critical condition.
Colonel Lysander Suerte, chief of the Army's 1003rd Brigade, insisted the incident was a handiwork of the New People's Army (NPA).
He said the attack was aimed to neutralize the government troops in the area and to seize their firearms inside the detachment located beside the barangay covered court where the blast occurred.
"No doubt that it was the NPA behind the incident. Based on the data we gathered, the pattern of the previous grenade blast in other areas here in Davao Region since 2010 is just the same as the recent incident. Ang masaklap pa niyan ginagawa nila ito while the residents were celebrating their annual fiesta," Suerte said.
But Superintendent Johnson C. Almazan, chief of the Davao City Police Office's Investigation and Detection Management Branch (DCPO-IDMB), said they have not yet concluded their investigation and no suspect has so far been identified.
Lieutenant Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the Army's 69th Infantry Battalion based in Paquibato, said they are coordinating with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Davao for a cartographic sketch of the suspect.
"We will also assist the victims and other residents of the area who are now undergoing trauma. So gagawa kami ng stress debriefing and we will also provide food stuffs and medicine kits and others to address the needs of the residents in the area after the incident," Suerte added.
Whoever are the perpetrators of the blast, City Councilor Berino Mambo-o, Indigenous Peoples representative to the City Council, considered the incident a “demonic act.”
It was "a gross disregard to human life and a gross violation of human rights and the International Humanitarian Law," he added.
He also dubbed the incident as “an act solely intended to sow terror. A demonic act by no less than a Godless perpetrator in order to disturb and injure our peace-loving residents in Fatima.”
Mambo-one said the incident was not reflective of the true Dabawenyos who are naturally peace-loving people.
He said he can't help but to feel sorry for those who have been badly hurt.
"Kita nga mga taga Dabaw, na dugay nagatagamtam sa tinood nga kalinaw, dili dapat mamahimong babag ning pipila ka mga tawo o organisasyon na ma-oy mag maniubra sa sitwasyon. Dapat mubarog kita ug magkahiusa aron masulbad kini nga krimen (We, Dabawenyos, who have been experiencing genuine peace, must not take the incident as an obstacle of these few people or organization to manipulate situations. We should all stand united to solve this crime)," Mambo-o said.
He urged the public to “condemn in the highest term possible those people or group of people who want to destroy peace, those who want to sow terror and those who want to taint the peaceful image of Davao City." (With Jereco O. Paloma/Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 05, 2012.