Tacurong New Year blast caused by quarrel over entertainer

TACURONG CITY — The New Year’s Eve explosion here that left two dead and 16 others injured was not an act of terror, but due to a quarrel between two groups of males over a lady KTV guest relations entertainer, police said.

Quoting a police officer, Allan S. Freno, LGU-Tacurong information officer, said that the explosion was “rooted from an altercation between two groups of bar customers quarreling over a female entertainer.”

Freno quoted Supt. John Patrick Aggabao, Tacurong City police chief, as saying that the incident was no terror act but rather a crime triggered by jealousy and disgust.

Freno said two people died and 16 others sustained injuries when an explosive device went off a few meters away from the entrance of Happy Videoke Bar, a crude shanty located along the national highway in Barangay Buenaflor at around 11:05 p.m. on December 31.

Dominador Datahan, 51-year-old barangay civilian volunteer, was declared dead on arrival at the hospital while 19-year-old Suharto Ali from Maguindanao, died in the morning of January 1.

Freno said the Scene of the Crime Operatives and Explosive Ordnance Division had recovered two safety levers of hand grenades, “thus negating earlier report that an improvised explosive device or IED caused the explosion.”

Quoting Aggabao, Freno said prior to the blast, a heated argument inside the bar ensued when a male customer forced a lady entertainer seated at the other customers’ table to sit with them.

An eyewitness, according to Freno, said that Datahan tried to pacify the parties involved. The same witness added that one of the involved parties went out of the bar leaving with the threat, “Babalikan ko kayo” (I will return for you).

Less than an hour later, a loud explosion occurred in front of the bar, particularly at a parked tricycle.

“Based on the circumstances, the incident was an offshoot of a heated confrontation between individuals quarreling over a female entertainer,” Freno said.

Senior Supt. Raul Supiter, Sultan Kudarat police director and head of Special Investigation Task Group (SITG), said three suspects are in police custody and charges for multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and illegal possession of explosives are being prepared against them. PNA-northboundasia.com