Nov. 19, 2010


grenade.ammo.found

A Pasay City police bomb expert on Wednesday holds the two grenades found outside the U.S. Embassy Seafront complex along Roxas Bouelavard.  (GMANews.TV)

 

MANILA — Police disarmed a hand grenade and ammunition for a 40mm recoilless rifle found inside a clutch bag recovered in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy’s seafront compound in Pasay City on Wednesday.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and U.S. Embassy officials are jointly determining whether the recovered explosives are related to the alleged plot of terrorists to strike in Metro Manila.

“We are still in the process of investigating the case. We have no clear idea as yet as to the motive of the incident,” said NCRPO director Chief Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome.

Press attaché Rebecca Thompson said the embassy commended the police for their prompt response.

According to Thompson, a street sweeper, Charlie Nequinto, found an old green clutch bag wrapped inside a yellow plastic bag at about 6:50 a.m. at the perimeter fence of the Seafront Residences of the U.S. Embassy along Roxas Boulevard.

Nequinto initially ignored the items until he decided to check their contents at about 10 a.m.

Upon seeing the explosives, the street sweeper alerted a U.S. Embassy guard, who in turn informed local authorities.

“We understand that the police responded on site immediately. We commend their prompt action. We are grateful that no one was injured in the incident,” Thompson said in a text message to the Philippine Star.

The United States, Australia and other European countries had released an advisory recently asking their residents to be extra careful as terrorists are out to stage attacks in Metro Manila.

Chief Superintendent Jose Arne de los Santos, director of the Southern Police District (SPD), requested establishments in the area to provide them copies of footage of their closed-circuit TV cameras to determine whether the suspect was caught while leaving the explosives in the area.

The Seafront Residences is a row of houses occupied by American officials and their families.

SPO2 Jose Calamba, of the Explosives and Ordnance Division of the Pasay City police, arrived at the scene and determined that the rusty fragmentation grenade had its safety lever taped and the rifle ammunition was not armed.

“My men collected the explosives and dismantled them, rendering the materials not capable of exploding anymore,” said de los Santos.

Senior Superintendent Napoleon Cuaton, Pasay City police chief, said Nequinto already submitted his sworn statements to local police.

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