Grenade blast kills village policeman

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SAN JOSE, Batangas: A village policeman (barangay tanod) was killed while another was wounded when an unidentified suspect lobbed a grenade at a local cockpit during an ongoing derby on Tuesday. Police identified the fatality as Jeffrey Magtaas, 33, of Barangay Aguila, San Jose. Magtaas died in the hospital while being treated for multiple shrapnel wounds. Wounded was Ben Hidalgo, 50. At least five vehicles – three cars, a jeep and a motorcycle – were damaged by the blast, which was heard at 10:50 p.m., said Municipal Police Chief Insp. Ferdinand Ancheta. The victims were manning a post in front of the gate of San Jose Mini-Cockpit near the cockpit’s parking area when the grenade exploded. Victims’ relatives believe that a brewing animosity between licensed cockpit operators and unlicensed cockpit maintainers in Barangay 4, Poblacion and Barangay Patago both in Balayan town has something to do with crime. Recently, a group of licensed cockpit operators and their employees requested Batangas Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Leopoldo Cabanag to stop the unabated operations of tupada joints (illegal cockpits) in the towns of Balayan, Lian and Nasugbu and in Lipa City.

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CRISZUS NIÑO V. IBON

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