An explosion which rocked a residential area near a police precinct in Malate, Manila early Friday morning has been discounted by police as the work of terrorists.
No one was hurt in the incident, where an explosive was hurled at a day care center beside the Arellano Police Community Precinct along Arellano Avenue. An SUV belonging to the precinct commander and a parked motorcycle were damaged in the blast.
Bomb squad operatives later recovered the fragments of an MK2 fragmentation hand grenade.
“That is not an act of terrorism,” said Sr. Supt. Erwin Margarejo of the Manila Police District.
“If it were an act of terrorism, it would definitely be premeditated, definitely have casualties. The criminals would be many if it were an act of terrorism. This is only the work of one person.”
CCTV footage from Barangay 753 show the arrival of a man riding a motorcycle at Arellano Avenue past 3 a.m. He stayed for a few seconds near the police station before leaving. A flash of light followed as he rode out.
Witnesses also said the man fired two shots afterwards, which hit a jeepney and a car.
He was chased by precinct police before he left the area via Espiritu Street.
With no leads yet, investigators are still looking at all motives, Margarejo said.
This includes the possibility that the precinct was not the target, since the barangay hall was also nearby.
"We can see that this is a depressed area, so most probably this could be in-fighting between local groups. We will get information from people in the area," he said.
The police also received no threats prior to the incident, Margarejo said.