PIKIT, North Cotabato: The military is assisting police investigators to determine the persons behind the deadly blast inside a United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) here on Wednesday night.
A government nurse and a government teacher were killed in the blast that occurred inside UCCP at about 7:40 p.m. while members of the congregation were praying.
Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, said intelligence operatives of the 602nd Brigade, and its component units, the 7th and 40th Infantry Battalions, are now in Pikit assisting local police in the post-blast investigation.
“We can help in intelligence gathering, we coordinate with other law enforcement units in the area,” he said.
Colonel Allan Arrojado, 602nd Army brigade chief, also ordered the deployment of plainclothesmen to help thwart any similar attempt in the future.
Felomina Nacario-Ferolin, 54, head nurse of Pagalungan district hospital in Maguindanao and Gina Cabilona, 39, a teacher and resident of Pikit, died while being treated in various hospitals after two unidentified men fired a rifle grenade inside the church while the congregation was having its midweek prayer meeting.
Wounded in the blast were Jeremias Dandan, 60; his son Jerome, 28; and Virgie Manolid, 63. They sustained body and head shrapnel injuries, according to Pikit Police Chied Senior Inspector Mautin Pangandigan.