At least 12 injured in Cotabato City grenade attack

Rambo Talabong
At least 12 injured in Cotabato City grenade attack
(3rd UPDATE) 8 are soldiers and 4 are civilians, says Western Mindanao Command spokesman Major Arvin Encinas

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – A grenade attack near the Notre Dame Cathedral complex in Cotabato City left at least 12 injured, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced on Sunday, December 22.

According to Western Mindanao Command spokesman Major Arvin Encinas, 3 men aboard a motorcycle threw a grenade along Sinsuat Avenue at around 6 pm, where troops of the Philippine Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion were deployed.

Of the 12, 8 are soldiers, and 4 civilians, said Encinas.

Encinas confirmed another explosion in PC Hill in Cotabato City but did not elaborate.

The 6 pm attack near Notre Dame occurred just around 50 meters away from the Notre Dame Cathedral complex. 

Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco condemned the blasts as “terrorist acts” and called on her constituents to “muster our courage and to strongly resist fear.” 

“The bombings in the Municipality of Libungan and in Cotabato City have struck another blow to our people’s sense of security that is still reeling from the losses, damages and trauma of the recent earthquakes,” Catamco said in a statement.  

“Let us keep in mind that these terrorist acts aim to instill fear and to spread panic. Therefore, I call on everyone to remain calm and to stay vigilant. We need to muster our courage and to strongly resist fear,” she added.  

Malacañang also condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the attacks in Cotabato and Maguindanao, saying authorities are now investigating the incidents. 

“Any attempt to sow fear, hatred and violence is doomed to fail. We will pursue the perpetrators and will harness all our might to crush all evil forces or enemies of the state, as well as their supporters,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Monday, December 23.  

“We call on everyone to stay and remain vigilant and report suspicious personalities and unattended items,” he added.

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.