DA- Region 12 official accused in journalist’s murder survives another grenade attack

By Malu Cadelina  Manar

KIDAPAWAN CITY (April 10/Thursday) – A ranking official of the agriculture department in central Mindanao who was among those accused in the killing of a journalist in Sultan Kudarat has survived another grenade attack on Tuesday.

Osmeña Montaner, finance director of DA-12, said the Tuesday incident was the third attempt on his life since last year.

Montaner’s house in Cotabato City was bombed in 2007 and another last January this year, at the time court hearings of the murder case filed against him and another DA-12 official by relatives of Marlene Garcia Esperat, a local newspaper columnist based in Sultan Kudarat, were ongoing.

Montaner knew who is behind the slay attempt but believed the suspects who lobbed the grenade were just hired to silence him.
He, however, refused to divulge to media the identity of the ‘mastermind’.

Around 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Montaner and his family were about to start their evening prayer in a mosque inside his compound when an unidentified suspect lobbed a fragmentation grenade and went off.

No one was hurt in the grenade attack, according to Chief Supt. Willie Dangane, chief of the Cotabato City PNP.

Dangane theorized the suspects could be motorcycle-riding men that tossed the grenade inside the well-fenced Montaner compound.

On January this year, a grenade was planted on Montañer’s car while it was parked at the DA office along Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City.

Last year, a fragmentation grenade was also lobbed at his residence and went off but no one was hurt.

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