Grenade found near Cotabato precinct as Bangsamoro vote starts

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2019 09:21 AM | Updated as of Jan 21 2019 11:52 AM

COTABATO CITY - (UPDATE) Authorities detonated a grenade found near a polling precinct here on Monday at the start of a plebiscite to approve a law that seeks wider powers to the autonomous Muslim region.

Sacks of sand were used to detonate the explosive, which was found by a sari-sari store owner at a street corner near 2 elementary schools and a high school.

There were no reported injuries.
 
"Akala ko kasi laruan, dinampot ko. Ipinakita ko sa kasamahan ko, 'granada iyan,'" storeowner Mardy Magban told radio DZMM. 

(I thought it was a toy, I picked it up. I showed it to my companion, who said "That's a grenade.")

Around 2.5 million voters are expected to decide whether or not to approve BOL, a key component of a 5-year-old peace deal with Moro rebels. 

A grenade exploded also outside the house of a judge in Cotabato City on the eve of the plebiscite. No one was hurt in the incident.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez appealed for calm as he assured voters pf their security.

"This is your chance to choose your destiny, that you want, that you can have: a self-determining governance in the future. Itong BOL is a very historic moment, ito’y di natin dapat palampasin (you shouldn't pass up on this)," he said.

Last December 31, another explosion outside a mall in Cotabato City left 2 dead and at least 34 injured.

Watch more on iWantTFC

- Report from Dexter Ganibe, ABS-CBN News