Soldier held for grenade possession
By MITCH ARCEO and ELENA ABEN
Manila, Philippines – A couple wanted to spend their second honeymoon at a five-star hotel in Pasay City on Monday, but instead landed in a police station.
PFC Adonis Vicente, 29, assigned at the 21st Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army (PA), was brought to the Pasay police station after depositing his firearm and a grenade at the Heritage Hotel.
Vicente was with his wife, an overseas Filipino worker who has just returned from Abu Dhabi, when they entered the hotel at 7:45 a.m.
The couple said they wanted to check in at the hotel, but were barred by security personnel who reported the matter to the police.
Vicente presented documents for his .45 caliber handgun, but failed to produce legal papers for the grenade in his possession.
According to SPO3 Ronaldo Frades and PO3 Rodolfo Suquina Jr., the soldier only managed to present a memorandum receipt signed by one Capt. Jasper Brix B. Perez of the Philippine Army.
Investigators confiscated the MK2 fragmentation grenade and sent to the Explosive Ordinance Division for examination.
Soon after, authorities learned that the grenade is active and has a potential to explode.
Commonly known as a “pineapple grenade“ because of its shape and structure, the MK2 was used by the United States armed forces during World War II and in later conflicts, including the Vietnam War.
According to http://www.globalsecurity.org, the grenade has a bursting radius of 10 meters and an effective casualty radius of 15 meters.
Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said grenades are used for certain combat mission.
“It’s an essential equipment but supposedly ibabalik yan sa supply after the mission,“ said Cabunoc.
While soldiers are allowed to bring their side arms for their protection, they are not supposed to bring grenades in a highly-populated area, according to Cabunoc.
Cabunoc, however, said he believes that what transpired was a simple oversight on the part of Vicente.
“The soldier has no intention of cause chaos that is why he voluntarily surrendered the grenade upon check in. However, ignorance excuses no one,“ Cabunoc said.
Meanwhile, the soldier was detained at the police station and brought to the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office for inquest proceedings.
The fiscal has given Vicente time to produce pertinent papers before proceeding to file a case.
Meanwhile, Vicente was ordered to remain at the police station.