SAN FABIAN–Unidentified persons set off an improvised explosive device (IED) at the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) detachment in Barangay Nibaliw Narvarte here before it could be completed.
The incident happened at about 1:00 a.m. of June 22, just about a week after the property owner, Rafael de Vera, and Nibaliw Narvarte Barangay Chairman Recto Orjeda signed a memorandum of agreement giving their consent to the establishment of the PCG detachment.
The police suspect that explosion was likely set off by people opposed to the presence of a PCG detachment in the barangay.
The incident is being investigated by the local police and no suspect has been identified so far.
Coast Guard officials said the detachment in the area is crucial in the implementation of maritime laws, particularly against dynamite fishing and other illegal fishing activities.
The PCG detachment is expected to help stop rampant blast fishing in San Fabian and adjacent areas in the eastern part of the Lingayen Gulf.
Orjeda initially opposed the establishment of the detachment which he believed was being put up on in an area in the15-hectare accretion area where some of his constituents have set up homes but the subject of a claim by the family of De Vera.
De Vera and Orjeda are enmeshed in legal suits and claims now pending in court and in the Office of the President.
Co-signatories to the MOA were then PCG Detachment Commander Lt. Dennis Rapal and Chief Inspector Domingo Soriano, chief of police.
The MOA signing, done at the office of Mayor Irene Libunao, was witnessed by Vice Mayor Leopoldo Manapol and members of the Sangguniang Bayan.