Upi town in Maguindanao (Image from Google Maps)
UPI, Maguindanao – A police officer and seven Marines were injured in two explosions that rocked this upland town before dawn on Saturday.
PO2 Esmael Alabat of the Upi Municipal Police Station was seriously injured when a grenade fired from an M203 launcher landed on a roadside police outpost in Upi at about 12:15 a.m., according to Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, chief of the Maguindanao Provincial Police Officer.
Alabat, one of the police officers of the First Maneuver Platoon of the Provincial Public Safety Company, had shrapnel wounds in the head and body and was taken to a private hospital here.
Some Marines, who had secured the police officers and bomb experts after the blast, were heading toward Barangay Mirab, also in Upi, when another roadside explosion occurred at about 1 a.m.
Seven Marines were hurt by the second explosion – Maj. Romulo Ducay, Cpl. Ryan Cabual, Cpl. Arnel Jiun, Cpl. Oliver Albo, Cpl. Alvin Sangadan, Pfc. Johnny Panday, and Pfc. Gerwin Perez.
All of them are from the 5th Marine Battalion Landing Team.
They were taken to the Army’s Camp Siongco Hospital in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao for treatment.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and military officials are still trying to determine the perpetrators’ identities and their affiliation.