2 dead, 3 hurt in grenade blast at N. Cotabato chapel
NORTH COTABATO – Two persons were killed while three others were wounded when a grenade exploded in a chapel in Pikit town here Wednesday night.
Felomina Ferolin was declared dead on arrival at the Midsayap Community Hospitalwhile Gina Cabiluna died while being treated, said Col. Andrie Edralin, commanding officer of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion.
Ferolin, 54, was a chief nurse of the Pagalungan municipal health office in Maguindanao, while Cabiluna, 39, was a public school teacher.
The wounded were identified as Jeremias Dandan, 60, and his son Jerome, 28, and Virgie Manulid, 63. They were taken to different hospitals for treatment of shrapnel wounds.
Edralin said a 40-millimeter projectile, fired through the entrance door of a chapel of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), exploded near a row of seats occupied by churchgoers at about 7:30 p.m.
UCCP preacher Gerry Sanchez said the victims have no known enemies and they have not received any threats against their church.
North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza condemned the attack and promised to provide financial help for the burial of Ferolin and Cabiluna, and for the medical expenses of the wounded victims.
Senior Inspector Mautin Pangandingan, Pikit town police chief, said investigators have yet to identify the suspects and determine the motive for the attack.
Pangandingan confirmed that an M203 grenade was used in the attack, as shown by evidence recovered from the blast site.
The attack occurred hours after Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Teofisto Guingona III presided over a forum on the creation of the Bangsamoro entity at the Notre Dame University in Cotabato City.