STILL unidentified arsonists hit the San Pablo Central Elementary School in San Pablo, Zamboanga del Sur around 11 p.m. Wednesday destroying one of the eight defective Vote Counting Machines deposited in one of the schoolrooms, a Police Regional Office 9 report said yesterday.
PRO9 director, Brigadier General Emmanuel Luis D. Licup said he has ordered the San Pablo Municipal Police Station to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and hunt down the suspects behind the arson attack.
An initial investigation showed that around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, an explosion was heard at the public school located in Purok Maloloy, in Barangay Poblacion, San Pablo followed by a fire at the back portion of the school’s Grade 6 room where the malfunctioning VCMs as well as other election paraphernalia were deposited.
Licup said that local policemen led by Captain Herminigildo Bajao Jr. immediately responded to the scene and secured seven of the eight defective VCMs in the area. Members of the San Pablo Fire Station also immediately rushed to the scene and declared the fire under control 10 minutes later.
Licup said that arson investigators discovered that the suspects used gasoline to start the fire. Bomb disposal experts added that the suspects likewise detonated an M-67 fragmentation grenade in the area before fleeing on foot.