GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) — An explosion rocked a sub-station of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and a police outpost in Kiamba town in Sarangani Province shortly before midnight Wednesday but no casualties were reported.
Chief Insp. Rey Salgado, chief of the Kiamba municipal police station, said Thursday the blast occurred at around 11:54 p.m. infront of the DENR sub-station or “detachment” in Sitio Bialong of Barangay Poblacion.
He said the sub-station is located beside the Kiamba police station’s community police action center (CPAC) number 02.
Post-blast investigators have yet to determine whether the explosion was caused by a grenade or an improvised explosive device, he said
The police official said the CPAC’s duty officer, Police Officer 1 Jerry Quizon, initially reported a loud explosion near their post.
He said they immediately responded to the scene to verify the situation and the security status of personnel, which included civilian volunteers, manning the outpost.
Salgado said they cordoned the scene after finding explosive fragments and other related materials.
As standard procedure, he said they referred the matter to the Explosives Ordnance Disposal and K-9 unit of the Sarangani Provincial Police Office for post-blast investigation.
Salgado said they could not yet establish whether the main target of the attack was their outpost or the DENR sub-station.
“The scene of the explosion was closer to the DENR sub-station,” he said.
But the New People’s Army’s (NPA) Musa Sub-regional Operations Command has claimed responsibility over the incident in a text message sent to radio station Brigada News FM here.
The group said the target of the attack was the police outpost.
Kiamba Mayor Raul Martinez condemned the incident, which he described as an “NPA harassment.”
Since last year, the rebels had burned two passenger units of Yellow Bus Line Inc. (YBL) and a passenger van in the town’s outskirt villages.
The first incident happened on Nov. 24 in Barangay Katubao and the second in Purok Yakal, Sitio Linek of Barangay Nalus on Jan. 5.
The rebels burned another passenger van in Purok Mirasol of Barangay Lebe on Jan. 30.
Police had filed arson charges against 13 alleged members of the NPA’s Front 73 in connection with the three incidents.