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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE three members of the Special Weapons and Tactics team who were wounded in a grenade explosion inside their office Tuesday said SPO3 Rafael Managuit, who was killed in the blast, saved them from certain death.

 

PO3 Roque Gimeno, PO3 Diaz Abundio and PO2 Alberto Sardua are confined inside the same room at St. Paul’s Hospital.

 

The trio was with Managuit at the SWAT-Explosives and Ordnance Division office in Robinsons Place mall when the M26A1 grenade detonated Tuesday morning.

 

Gimeno and Sardua suffered minor wounds in their faces, chests and limbs while Abundio underwent surgery after shrapnel damaged his small and large intestines.

 

A teary-eyed Sardua said Managuit was about to pack up the grenade together with a rifle grenade and improvised explosive after an interview with TV reporter Reggie Adosto.

 

“When he picked up the grenade, we heard a click. SPO3 Managuit gasped then tucked the grenade in his chest area and faced the concrete wall. Then a loud explosion followed. If not for his action, we could have been dead, too,” Sardua said.

 

“I salute him several times over. We owe our lives to him for what he did. He is a hero,” Sardua said.

 

Gimeno confirmed Sardua’s story as he was also near the table where the explosives where laid out.

 

“He saved us. SPO3 Managuit sacrificed his life for us and the civilians outside. It is sad that he is gone now,” Gimeno said.

 

Diaz’s wife Julie Ann, who is also a police officer, said she is thankful to Managuit for saving his husband from certain death.

 

“Our child could have lost his father if not for SPO3 Managuit. We salute him for his bravery,” Julie Ann said.

 

The three police officers received medals and cash assistance from the Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director Isagani Cuevas Wednesday afternoon inside their hospital room.

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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE three members of the Special Weapons and Tactics team who were wounded in a grenade explosion inside their office Tuesday said SPO3 Rafael Managuit, who was killed in the blast, saved them from certain death.

 

PO3 Roque Gimeno, PO3 Diaz Abundio and PO2 Alberto Sardua are confined inside the same room at St. Paul’s Hospital.

 

The trio was with Managuit at the SWAT-Explosives and Ordnance Division office in Robinsons Place mall when the M26A1 grenade detonated Tuesday morning.

 

Gimeno and Sardua suffered minor wounds in their faces, chests and limbs while Abundio underwent surgery after shrapnel damaged his small and large intestines.

 

A teary-eyed Sardua said Managuit was about to pack up the grenade together with a rifle grenade and improvised explosive after an interview with TV reporter Reggie Adosto.

 

“When he picked up the grenade, we heard a click. SPO3 Managuit gasped then tucked the grenade in his chest area and faced the concrete wall. Then a loud explosion followed. If not for his action, we could have been dead, too,” Sardua said.

 

“I salute him several times over. We owe our lives to him for what he did. He is a hero,” Sardua said.

 

Gimeno confirmed Sardua’s story as he was also near the table where the explosives where laid out.

 

“He saved us. SPO3 Managuit sacrificed his life for us and the civilians outside. It is sad that he is gone now,” Gimeno said.

 

Diaz’s wife Julie Ann, who is also a police officer, said she is thankful to Managuit for saving his husband from certain death.

 

“Our child could have lost his father if not for SPO3 Managuit. We salute him for his bravery,” Julie Ann said.

 

The three police officers received medals and cash assistance from the Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director Isagani Cuevas Wednesday afternoon inside their hospital room.

City Hall bought phony rifles – manufacturer

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

A US-based manufacturer said the five rifles bought by the Iloilo City government for the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team might be fakes, according to a city councilor.

 

Councilor Perla Zulueta said she received transcripts of email exchanges between her undisclosed source and a certain George W. Holloway who is in-charge of Law Enforcement and Government Sales of gun manufacturer Olympic Arms, Inc.

 

Zulueta said the emails indicate that the supposed K23B “Stubby” rifles acquired to beef up the SWAT have different specifications from what Olympic Arms manufacture and sell.

 

Holloway said a factory K23B would have a 1×7 twist barrel. The rifles the City Government bought from R. Espineli Trading had 1×9 twist barrel.

 

“If they are in fact 1×9 (twist barrel) they are fake,” Holloway said in his email message dated December 6, 2008.

 

A barrel twist of 1×7, which is also similar to “1 in 7”, means a projectile traveling down the barrel rotates one complete turn around its own axis in 7 inches. The twist barrel stabilizes the bullet when fired from a gun.

 

Holloway’s statement backs the contention of Zulueta that the SWAT rifles did not follow Olympic Arms specifications.

 

“The discrepancies lie on the different twist barrel which is 1×7 in the original firearm while the rifles bought by the City Government had 1×9. The rifles must be full automatic while the fakes are semi-automatic, Zulueta said.

 

As regards the purchase and export of firearms from Olympic Arms to the Philippines, Holloway said orders must be made through an export company like ETSS or World Wide Sports.

 

“They are able to handle the export/import of these weapons and are on file with us as dealers. We are not able to directly send product to the PI (Philippine Islands) because of the policies of the US State Department,” Holloway said.

 

The Olympic Arms executive said all firearms exported from the US are full automatic unlike the ones purchased by City Hall which are semi-automatic.

 

The serial numbers of genuine Olympic Arms items, Holloway said, have a “DE # # # # serial number range.”

 

“There may possibly some that have a ‘E # # # # number range’, but anything more than four numbers is for sure a fake,” Holloway added in another email dated December 10.

 

Zulueta said the serial number is another indication that the rifles purchased by City Hall are fake because their serial number starts with the letters BPNP instead of the DE or E number range.

 

The City Government through the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) headed by Atty. Edgardo Gil, city legal officer, bought the five rifles from Espineli for P675,000.

 

The Bacolod City-based Espineli, which was represented by a certain Roberto Herbolario, claims to be an accredited distributor of Olympic Arms in the country.

 

Herbolario reportedly returned the City Government’s money after the controversy was exposed in the media.

 

The firearms have also been returned to the supplier but Zulueta said the City Council will still investigate the issue in an executive session with the key BAC members.

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

MEMBERS of the elite Special Weapons and Tactics team and the Iloilo City Police Office’s (ICPO) Explosive and Ordnance Division (EOD) were deployed to two shopping malls early morning Wednesday following alleged bomb threats.

Intelligence operatives in the PNP and the military said they received raw information Tuesday evening that the New People’s Army will attempt to bomb Gaisano City Capital mall in LaPaz and Robinsons Place in Iloilo City Proper district.

SPO3 Rafael Managuit of the EOD said they were ordered to inspect and secure the two malls as early as 6am yesterday.

Managuit said they did not find any suspicious package or persons around the two malls except for a box of stale pizza in Gaisano.

“Only the two malls were specified as possible targets and we were deployed to secure the said areas per order of our superiors,” Managuit said.

Managuit did not immediately confirm if the NPA is behind the bomb plot.

In a telephone interview, Senior Supt. Bartolome Tobias, ICPO director, said the information they received was raw and subject to further verification.

“But since this is a bomb threat, we did not take our chances and dispatched the EOD and Swat to secure the two malls. We did things discreetly as much as possible to avoid causing alarm to mall goers and the general public,” Tobias said.

Tobias said they also briefed the malls’ security personnel on what to do in case they find suspicious items or persons in their areas of responsibility.

The ICPO chief said they are still verifying the raw intelligence information they received relative to the alleged bomb plot.

Military intelligence sources said similar bomb threats on the same malls circulated in Iloilo City last April and July.

Aside from Iloilo City, the bomb threat on the two malls also circulated in Davao and Manila.

The intelligence sources said they continue to verify the information and trace the actual source.

 

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