828 dynamite sticks, connectors intercepted in a Surigao ferry port

Government authorities intercepted at least 828 sticks of dynamite and 3.6 meters of connector about to be loaded Friday evening at Lipata Ferry Terminal in Lipata, Surigao City, according to a flash report reaching the regional command of Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez here on Sunday said.

Chief Supt. Lino D. Calingasan, PRO 13 regional director, ordered the investigation on the explosive materials.

Initial report received at PRO 13 command center said the sticks of dynamites and connector were intercepted by joint elements of Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Port Authority, AFP K-9 unit, Surigao City Police Station and Surigao del Norte provincial police office (PPO) at Lipata Ferry Terminal at around 11:40 pm Friday.

The explosive ingredients were loaded in a 10-wheeler container truck bearing plate number UTP-813 driven by Edgar Gualtea Navarro with helper Hilarion Gualtea Escala, police report said.

Police report also said that the explosives were allegedly escorted by Police Officer 1 Moises Castillo Cuenca of Special Mobile Group/Malampataya Task Force stationed in Batangas (PPO).

In an initial investigation, PRO 13 chief of operation Senior Supt. Nestor M. Fajura said that the items were allegedly owned by Monti-Vil Trading, one of the contractors for road development along Tandag-Barobo area in Surigao del Sur to be ferried from their magazine at Compostela Valley (Comval) Provincial Office compound, in Nabunturan, ComVal province to Batangas province in Luzon.

However, when the composite team verified the legality of the explosives for transport, the driver and the escort failed to show pertinent documents, added Senior Supt. Fajura.

“We verified that if the said explosives are really intended for road development and not for terroristic activities,” Fajura said.

He said that the intercepted items are now under the custody of Surigao City Police Station for proper disposition. (PNA)

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