Army, Coast Guard boats damaged by blast allegedly by NPAs in Masbate
Speed boats of Philippine Army and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were damaged in an explosion in Masbate City which authorities suspect was caused by the New People's Army (NPA) early Monday.
Capt. Joash Pramis, spokesman of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said an improvised bomb explosion occurred at Pier Site, Brgy Bapor, Masbate City around 12:30 am.
“The explosion resulted to the damage of speed boats of the Army and PCG. No reported casualty on the incident,” he said.
“The Army rescue boat was totally damaged while the speed boat of PCG partially damaged,” he added.
Pramis said the most damaged part of the boat was the tail part or the area where the engine is located.
Pramis said the military is looking at the possible involvement of the NPA.
We are looking at the possible involvement of the NPA because first of all here in Bicol region based on the incidents and history, the only group capable to manufacture these kind of bombs are the NPA, and it is the NPA who only have the history on using bomb in this area,” he said.
Capt. Armando Balilo, PCG spokesman, said the explosion site is around 100 meters from the PCG station.
He said according to the witnesses a small motorized boat was seen roaming at the blast site before the explosion occurred.
“Witnesses disclosed that prior to the incident, a small motorized banca was seen roaming the vicinity of the incident,” said Balilo.
Pramis said the blast is a "possible diversionary tactic... to divert the ongoing operation that we have in Masbate because we have a lot of accomplishments and tactical victory in Masbate in the past months.” Robina Asido/DMS.