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BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Three suspects were charged with murder and multiple frustrated murder in connection with the grenade blast that killed two police officers and injured Abra Representative Joseph Sto Niño Bernos and his wife, Mayor Menchie Bernos, during the town fiesta of La Paz, Abra, last January 25.
Rappler learned that two of the suspects were supposed to be in jail for separate cases of attempted homicide. However, further verification in Bangued showed that none of the suspects were arrested and that all 3 remain at large.
Suspects identified as Joel Millare Balucas, Roel Escalante, and Eljay Biyang were charged with two counts of murder and multiple frustrated murder at the Provincial Prosecutors Office in Bangued, Abra, and docketed under NPS Number 1-06-INV-18C-00062.
Balucas, however, was supposed to have been arrested last December 13 in his residence in Lagayan town for 3 counts of attempted homicide with use of an unlicensed firearm. He has a bond of P180,000 for each count.
Roel Escalante was likewise served a warrant of arrest with 4 others in Lagayan town last January 30 for attempted homicide with use of unlicensed firearm also in Lagawan, but he and his companions were not around. Escalante has a bail of P180,000.
Balucas, Escalante, and Biyang were arrested for their suspected involvement in the throwing of two MK2 fragmentation grenades at the crowd just in time when the lights were out for the start of the fireworks display at 1:30 am of January 25.
Killed were the police escorts of Bernos, namely PO3 Carlos Baccali Bocaig and PO2 Frenzel Buneng Kitoyan, both members of the Abra police. Other than the Bernos couple, 24 others were injured. – Rappler.com