Two members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police and two civilians were killed after a vintage mortar bomb was improperly defused inside a welding shop in Taguig City Wednesday (January 25) afternoon.
Reports said the bomb exploded at around 3 p.m. in Purok 6C in Lower Bicutan. Witnesses say members of the PNP-SAF brought the bomb to the shop as early as 7 a.m. and asked the technicians to weld it open.
The shop’s owner even took the lead in soldering it. Moments later, the bomb exploded, instantly killing Police Officer 2 Rizaldy Bisaya and shop owner Christ Daguio.
Meanwhile, Police Officer 3 Jose Torralba was rushed to the hospital but later expired. A bystander Riza Romualdo, who tended a nearby eatery, also died.
Police Officer 2 Arnold Mayo was rushed to the hospital and remained in critical condition.
At least 14 other residents were rushed to the hospital after sustaining various injuries.
Southern Police District Senior Supt. Federico Castro said the normal procedure with vintage bombs is to report it before Public Disposal Unit at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame. Thereafter, it is brought to Capas, Tarlac for proper defusing.
Taguig Police Senior Supt. Tomas Apolinario said the police brought the bomb to the irons workshop to defuse it. But the wrench wasn’t able to do it. They later went back to have it welded.
The PNP Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) is gathering evidence for forensic investigation. The PNP Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD) is still reconstructing the bomb to identify its type.
Curiously, the welding shop is merely 500 meters away from Camp Bagong Diwa where there is a bomb detonation area.
Last Monday (January 23), an explosion occurred at a vacant lot on H.V. Dela Costa Street in Salcedo Village in Makati City. The blast damaged glass panels of nearby buildings and parked vehicles.
Reports said fragments of an 81-mm mortar shell, batteries, wires, and a timer were allegedly recovered from the blast site in Makati City.