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‘BOMBS WERE KEPT HERE’ JP Managuit, eldest son of the late SPO3 Rafael Managuit, shows the rubber jar where his father kept recovered explosives he brought home from work. The jar is now a trash bin. (Photo by Tara Yap)

‘BOMBS WERE KEPT HERE’ JP Managuit, eldest son of the late SPO3 Rafael Managuit, shows the rubber jar where his father kept recovered explosives he brought home from work. The jar is now a trash bin. (Photo by Tara Yap)

SPO3 Rafael Managuit carries a rifle grenade inside a can filled with sand after one of his retrieval operations when he was still alive.

SPO3 Rafael Managuit carries a rifle grenade inside a can filled with sand after one of his retrieval operations when he was still alive.

Managuit had to bring home explosives

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

SPO3 Rafael Managuit of the Iloilo City Explosives and Ordnance Division (EOD), who was killed in a grenade explosion inside their office Tuesday morning, had to bring ome recovered bombs for lack of proper storage and detonation facilities.

 

Managuit’s widow Wilma said her husband kept his deadly finds inside a rubber vessel tucked in the elevated water tank of their house at Brgy. Veterans Village, Iloilo City proper, one the most populated villages in the metropolis.

 

“He would sometimes bring his recoveries to our house because no one would accept them, particularly at Camp Delgado. We told him to stop bringing the items because these are dangerous,” Wilma said.

 

Harm almost befell the Managuits when the explosives stocked in their home exploded last December, Wilma recalled.

 

“We told him to get the bombs off our house because these were very dangerous to our children and neighbors. My husband had been asking for safety gears and a storage facility for the bombs but these did not materialize. We tried convincing him to leave the EOD because it is a dangerous assignment but his heart was really in his line of work,” she added.

 

The substandard condition of the EOD and the lack of safety equipment for its operatives can be gleaned from the front page photo of The Daily Guardian’s April 1, 2009 issue showing Managuit carrying a rifle grenade inside a can filled with sand instead of a bomb basket.

 

Managuit died of massive injuries in his head, chest, abdomen and limbs after an M26A1 grenade exploded inside their office at Robinsons Place Mall along De Leon Street, Iloilo City.

 

Wounded in the explosion were PO3 Roque Gimeno, PO3 Diaz Abundio and PO2 Robert Sardua, members of the Special Weapons and Tactics team.

 

Fellow officers of Managuit said the latter threw his body to cover the grenade before it detonated to avert more injuries and damage to the area.

 

The grenade along with a rifle grenade and improvised explosive device were recovered by Managuit from the house of barangay kagawad Yolanda Senato of East Baluarte, Molo early morning Tuesday.

 

Senato had accused her son-in-law Muhammad Zahir Hossein as the one who lobbed the explosives at their house following domestic problems and lawsuits.

 

OMENS

 

Wilma said her husband celebrated his 55th birthday last Friday in a simple manner at their home.

 

Managuit’s widow said her husband was very happy during the celebration and did not display any unusual movement or emotion.

 

“The only strange thing we noticed was when the mug he held was broken in half. I guess that was a bad omen. Last (Tuesday) night, a portion of his framed photo was burned by a candle. Maybe he went home,” she said

 

Wilma said her Managuit was “a good father, husband and brother to our family.”

 

Managuit’s remains will be brought to their home Saturday as the funeral parlor is still working on his badly injured body.

 

Wilma said they will schedule the burial after Holy Week to allow his other relatives to come home and pay their last respects.

 

The Iloilo City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the heroic act of Managuit.

 

Councilor Armand Parcon, a neighbor of Managuit in Veterans Village, authored the resolution.

FOR BRAVERY. PRO-6 director Isagani Cuevas pins the Medalya ng Papuri on PO3 Abondio Diaz of the Special Weapons and Tactics team inside his room at St. Paul’s Hospital Wednesday afternoon. The PRO-6 also extended special assistance to Diaz who was severely wounded in a grenade explosion inside their office Tuesday morning. (Photo by Tara Yap)

FOR BRAVERY. PRO-6 director Isagani Cuevas pins the Medalya ng Papuri on PO3 Abondio Diaz of the Special Weapons and Tactics team inside his room at St. Paul’s Hospital Wednesday afternoon. The PRO-6 also extended special assistance to Diaz who was severely wounded in a grenade explosion inside their office Tuesday morning. (Photo by Tara Yap)

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Police Regional Office (PRO-6) said Wednesday that the PNP organization is partly to be blamed for the death of SPO3 Rafael Managuit, team leader of the Explosives and Ordnance Division (EOD).

 

Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, PRO-6 director, said the PNP is unable to provide all the equipment needed by its personnel in performing their duties, particularly the EOD.

 

“The PNP organization also had some misgivings since our poverty rendered us unable to provide the facilities and equipment that an EOD member needs,” Cuevas said.

 

Cuevas said the Iloilo City EOD team lacks basic facilities such as a magazine or a closed concrete structure that serves as storage area for explosives and other deadly items.

 

“During the time of the Philippine Constabulary, each unit was required to have its own magazine. All potentially deadly items such as bombs are stored in the magazine. Even if the items inside explode, the police and civilians would still be safe because it is made of reinforced concrete. We don’t have that here in the city,” Cuevas said.

 

He added only the Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental provincial police offices have magazines.

 

“We already need that magazine in Iloilo City that’s why I talked to Mayor Jerry Treñas if we could look for an area where we can put up the magazine,” the PRO-6 chief averred.

 

Aside from the storage area, the EOD also needs bomb baskets, armored suits and other equipment used in retrieving and detonating explosives.

 

Cuevas said bomb disposal protocols dictate that explosives should be disposed of immediately unless needed as evidence in criminal cases and court hearings.   

 

“If the explosive will be used as evidence in cases, it should be stored in a magazine which we lack. Our EOD members are very enthusiastic in recovering these explosives which they tend to appreciate more by examining the items. In the case of Managuit, it suddenly went off and killed him,” he added.

 

The lack of bomb disposal equipment was highlighted when the EOD and Special Weapons and Tactics team detonated a grenade recovered from the flood control project in Jaro, Iloilo City by shooting it with a rifle from afar.

 

Treñas had said he will find ways to purchase bomb disposal equipment used by highly-urbanized cities such as armored suits and retrieval and transport equipment.  

By Jeehan V. Fernandez

 

MAYOR Jerry Treñas said the final program of works of the proposed seven-storey New Iloilo City Hall which will rise at the 2,100-square meter site across Plaza Libertad will be finished April 15.

 

“Architect William Coscolluela is still preparing the value engineering to change the design to lower the cost. We hope the price will go down dramatically,” he explained.

 

The mayor expects the construction cost of the New City Hall at more or less P350million but initial budgetary estimates pegged it at P465million. Budget for the project will come from P455-million loan City Hall obtained from Land Bank of the Philippines.

 

The mayor said the city has the capacity to pay the loan as certified by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF).

 

He added “The City Treasurer’s Office said we can secure as much as P1.2billion in loans.”

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GRENADE BLAST SITE A crime scene investigator gathers evidence from the EOD-SWAT office where a hand grenade exploded and killed SPO3 Rafael Managuit and wounded three other cops Tuesday. (Photo by Tara Yap)

Members of the Iloilo City Crisis Management Center carry the body of SPO3 Rafael Managuit out of the EOD-SWAT office. (Photo courtesy of Mythz Villasis)

Members of the Iloilo City Crisis Management Center carry the body of SPO3 Rafael Managuit out of the EOD-SWAT office. (Photo courtesy of Mythz Villasis)

 

Grenade explodes inside EOD, SWAT office

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

A MEMBER of the Iloilo City Police Office’s (ICPO) Explosives and Ordnance Division (EOD) sacrificed his life to save his fellow police officers and civilians when a grenade exploded inside their office in a shopping mall around 7am Tuesday. 

 

The M26A1 hand grenade ripped and burned the arms, chest, abdomen and face of SPO3 Rafael Managuit, 55, of Brgy. Veterans’ Village, Iloilo City.

 

Managuit died at the St. Therese Hospital some 30 minutes after the explosion inside the space shared by the EOD and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in Robinsons Place Mall along De Leon Street, Iloilo City.

 

Three SWAT members were wounded in the explosion – PO3 Roque Gemino, PO3 Diaz Abundio and PO2 Robert Sardua. They are confined at the Iloilo St. Paul’s Hospital.

 

Except for Abundio who underwent surgery, Gemino and Sardua suffered minor injuries in their hands, abdomens and legs.

 

 The grenade, along with a rifle grenade and an improvised bomb (dalugdog), were recovered from the rooftop of the house of Barangay Kagawad Yolanda Senato at Brgy. East Baluarte, Molo.

 

Senato accused her son-in-law Muhammad Zahir Hossein, a Bangladesh national who migrated to Iloilo City, as the one who threw the bombs at their house between 5am and 6am (See related story).

 

The explosives were tied together with a duct tape, investigators said.

 

Managuit, Gemino, Sardua and Abundio responded to the bomb call and brought the explosives to SWAT-EOD office around 7am prior to detonation.

 

ABS-CBN reporter Reggie Adosto was the last person to interview Managuit before the explosion.

 

Adosto said Managuit showed the recovered bombs which he laid on a bamboo table near the office entrance. Gemino, Sardua and Abundio were in the cubicle inside the office.

 

“When we left a few seconds after the interview, we heard an explosion inside the office. We returned to the area and saw the bloodied SPO3 Managuit lying on a plastic bench. The three police officers tried to get out so we helped them to the hospital,” Adosto said.

 

Rescuers from the Iloilo City Crisis Management Center tried to retrieve Managuit but they were barred because of the rifle grenade which was still alive.

 

Members of the Philippine Army’s Bomb Disposal Unit arrived minutes later to clear the SWAT-EOD office of the remaining explosive before Managuit was rushed to the hospital.

 

SACRIFICE

 

Fellow officers of Managuit who survived the explosion said the grenade was primed to explode as the primary pin was already released.

 

Managuit taped the grenade to prevent the secondary pin from detonating the grenade.

 

At the SWAT-EOD office, Managuit unwrapped the tape around the grenade to prepare it for detonation in another area.

 

The SWAT officers said a click was heard followed by the explosion. They claimed seeing Managuit throw his body on the grenade possibly to save his comrades and the people inside the office.

 

Chief Insp. Salvador Dagoon, ICPO SWAT commander, said Managuit was an expert when it comes to explosives and handled his recoveries very carefully.

 

“He died in the line of duty. He is a hero. He sacrificed his life for his fellow officers and the civilians,” Dagoon said.

 

Dagoon said Managuit graduated from the EOD training in 2001 and was assigned at the ICPO in 2004.

 

Managuit celebrated his 55th birthday Friday last week and was due to retire next year. He left behind his wife, four children and a grandchild.

 

The Iloilo City government and Police Regional Office-6 pledged to provide financial help to Managuit’s family.

Muhammad Zahir Hossein gestures from the balcony of his house in Brgy. Calaparan, Areval, Iloilo City. (FAA)

Muhammad Zahir Hossein gestures from the balcony of his house in Brgy. Calaparan, Areval, Iloilo City. (FAA)

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Bangladesh national accused of throwing three bombs at the house of mother-in-law, which later killed a police officer, surrendered to the PNP yesterday noon to profess his innocence.

 

Muhammad Zahir Hossein said he did not try to bomb his mother-in-law, Barangay Kagawad Yolanda Senato of East Baluarte, Molo, Iloilo City.

 

Hossein’s second wife is Ruby, a daughter of Senato. He operates a pawnshop on the ground floor of his house at Brgy. Calaparan, Arevalo district.

 

Senato said Hossein has the motive to throw grenades at their house because she sued him for alarm and scandal and unjust vexation due to some domestic problems.

 

She also accused her son-in-law of pointing his gun at them during a confrontation last week.

 

Hossein also sued Senato for theft, according to the records of the Arevalo police station.

 

“Some of our neighbors in East Baluarte said they saw Hossein pass by our house on board a motorcycle minutes before the grenade was found. He has the motive to do that,” Senato said.

 

Around 10am Tuesday, the Arevalo police headed by Senior Insp. Federico Silvestre III invited Hossein to the police station for questioning but he refused to go out.

 

The Bangladesh national even locked his gate and the pawnshop to prevent police officers from taking him.

 

Hossein also put on a show when he waved to press photographers and TV cameras while standing on the balcony of their house. He also took a swig from a wine bottle in full view of his neighbors, police and media.

 

The stand off ended 12noon when Hossein surrendered to his lawyer Edeljulio Romero.

 

Romero said his client denied the accusations of his mother-in-law saying he does not resort to violence.

 

The lawyer said Senato was getting back at Hossein after the latter sued her for theft.

 

But Senato insists that Hossein threatened her daughter that something bad will happen if she becomes a witness in favor of her mother.

 

“He said he will kill himself after killing us. He is that suicidal,” Senato said. 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo and Jeehan V. Fernandez

THE grenade explosion which killed a police bomb expert in a mall Tuesday brought to fore the need to acquire bomb disposal and safety equipment for the Iloilo City Explosive and Ordnance Division (EOD).

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said he will find ways to purchase bomb disposal equipment used by highly-urbanized cities.

The equipment is an armored vessel where bombs could be detonated without endangering lives and properties.

Treñas said he will also try to equip the EOD with safety gears such as armored suits and instruments.

“The work of our bomb disposal unit is very dangerous and they are exposed to such hazard with minimum or no protection at all. We will try to help them in any way we can,” Treñas said when he visited the EOD-Special Weapons and Tactics team office where the explosion happened.

SPO3 Rafael Manguit of the EOD was killed in the blast while three SWAT members were injured in the incident.

C/Insp Salvador Dagoon, SWAT commander, said they will propose to the City Government the needed bomb disposal equipment.

When asked if their office poses danger to the public since it is located in a mall, Dagoon said they do not stock recovered bombs inside the EOD-SWAT office.

“We detonate the recovered bombs as soon as possible to prevent any accident. We are just holding office here because this is basically a community police center or Compac. we don’t keep dangerous items here,” Dagoon said.

CASH AID

The Iloilo City Government will extend P50,000 cash aid to the family of SPO3 Rafael Managuit who died in a grenade explosion at the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) office at Robinsons mall here yesterday morning.

Mayor Treñas said City Administrator Melchor Tan is processing the financial assistance to be taken from the mayor’s discretionary fund.

Treñas added that P40,000 will be given to Diaz Abundio who underwent surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital due to his critical condition and P10,000 each to Robert Sardua and Roque Gemino who sustained injuries.

City Hall will also ask the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for support to the injured cops, said Treñas.

Managuit, a bomb expert of the Explosive and Ordnance Division of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), succumbed to blast wounds after presenting the recovered grenade to a news crew of a local television network.

The TV crew had just boarded their service vehicle after an interview with Managuit when the grenade exploded.

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