MRT passenger arrested for bringing grenade
A man was arrested by the security personnel at one of the busiest train stations of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 after a hand grenade was found inside his bag.
National Capital Region Police Office Director Guillermo Eleazar, in a press conference on Sunday, presented Christian Guzman, 29 years old, who attempted to bring a hand grenade inside the MRT train station in Cubao, Quezon City.
Eleazar said the incident happened around 7:10 pm on Saturday at MRT-Cubao and based on the CCTV footage, two lady guards, one handling the x-ray machine and the other doing body check, saw on the monitor a suspicious item inside his bag.
Upon checking the suspect, they saw the hand grenade wrapped with packaging tape and they immediately called for assigned Regional Mobile Force Battalion.
“So based on SOP (standard operating procedure), if this kind of situation arises, you will call the police,” Eleazar said.
The incident happened few days after the Department of Transportation lifted the liquid ban inside train stations which was part of their security measure.
Guzman was brought to Cubao Police Station for investigation.
“We were quite alarm last night when we found out initially of this incident and we would like to check the background of the suspect. But after the initial investigation conducted by the elements of (Police) Station 7 of Quezon City Police District and as well as the RMFB, we established the circumstances but still we will continue to conduct investigation,” said Eleazar.
The agents of Explosive Ordnance Division found out that it is a live grenade and could reach 12-15 meters radius.
Eleazar said the suspect disowned the grenade, saying it was his brother's who was allegedly a soldier.
“Accordingly this was owned by his brother and left it at their house last December. He also said that every time his father got drunk, he boasted about having the grenade that’s why he asked permission from his brother to bring this. The problem is, first his brother shouldn’t allow him to transport this alone,” said Eleazar.
He said the PNP would coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to check if the said soldier would have an accountability or responsibility on the trouble created by his brother.
Eleazar said this would have caused more trouble if he was able to bring the grenade to the airport.
“If we missed it, it will be troublesome. Just imagine, you enter NAIA3 and you have this (grenade)?,” he said.
The NCRPO chief lauded the security measures being implemented at the train stations and hoped that all the transportation hubs would have x-ray machines.
He again sought the cooperation of the public and apologized for the inconveniences brought by their strict security measures.
“The security of MRT/LRT is really good so we want to inform our people that the strict security measures we are implementing is for everyone. Shared responsibility that we should all be involved, we are asking for patience if there is any inconvenience… but we have to do this. We need the cooperation of everybody,” said Eleazar.
He also warned those who would try to bring contraband that they would have the same fate as the suspect if they caught violating the law.
Guzman would be charged for violation of Republic Act No. 9516 or Illegal Possession of Ammunition and Explosive, which is a non-bailable case and he might face 20 years or life time imprisonment. Ella Dionisio/DMS