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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.

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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

UNIDENTIFIED suspects bombed the car of Chief Insp. Musa Amiyong, Iloilo City Police Office intelligence section (S2) chief, around 4 am Sunday.

 

According to the Explosive and Ordnance Division, a F26-A fragmentation grenade was used to blow up Amiyong Mistubishi Lancer parked along road at Brgy. Salvacion-West Habog-Habog, Molo district.

 

Investigation by the Scene of the Crime Operatives said the grenade was thrown at the driver’s seat of the car and damaged the seat, windshield and steering wheel.

 

Some of the shrapnel damaged several houses around the blast scene.

 

Amiyong said the motive for the incident is his campaign against illegal drugs.

 

The intelligence chief said he already has an idea of the suspect but he refused to give any detail.

 

Amiyong was recently involved in the shooting to two alleged drug pushers in General Luna Street, Iloilo City.

 

But Michael “Federico” Dolar and Roy Barsote said Amiyong shot them while passing along General Luna Street for no apparent reason.

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