2 hurt in North Cotabato grenade attack

KIDAPAWAN CITY – A businessman and his security guard were hurt when unidentified men lobbed a grenade in front of a variety store in the North Cotabato town of Pikit Sunday evening.

Chief Inspector Teng Bacal, Pikit town police chief, identified the victims as Kim John Tañada, 28, and his security guard Christopher Monteciño, 39. Both are residents of Poblacion, Pikit.

Bacal said the suspects were on board a motorbike and tossed the grenade at about 8 p.m. as they passed by the roadside store.

Police believed personal grudge was behind the attack.

Tañada and Monteciño were first brought to Cruzado medical clinic but later moved to Kidapawan Doctors Hospital in Kidapawan City.

Bacal said the suspects fled toward Barangay Ladtingan, a gateway to the vast Liguasan marshland, which the military said is frequently used by the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) as jump off and extraction point for their criminal activities.

Bacal said police investigators are following up on a lead about the suspects’ identities.

He said shooting incidents have been rising in the town due to reprisals originating from family feuds in Pikit and nearby towns.

“Most of the victims and perpetrators though were not from Pikit,” the police official said, noting that since January, at least 40 cases of violence, mostly shooting incidents, have been reported in the town. Edwin Fernandez/PNA-northboundasia.com