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Duterte visits blast victims

President Duterte spent Christmas Day visiting victims of the Dec. 24 blast in Midsayap, North Cotabato.

Eighteen people were injured in the grenade attack outside the Sto. Niño church in Midsayap town just a few hours before Christmas, according to police.

Some victims, who include a three-year-old girl and a policeman, were rushed to the Anecito Pesante, Sr. Memorial Hospital, while others were taken to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center and to the Southern Philippines Medical Center.

During the visit, Duterte personally handed financial assistance to the victims.

The President also promised to shoulder full payment of medical expenses for those who were admitted to the hospitals and further assistance to the outpatients.

Investigation showed two motorcycle-riding men lobbed a grenade at a police vehicle parked just outside the church around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The explosion had a 30-meter blast radius.

Some of those hurt in the blast were identified as SPO4 Johny Caballero, Ejimar Bargaso Loques, Princess Nicole Cadondoy, Arnel del Rio Silvano, Jeanelyn del Rio Silvano, Clint John del Rio Silvano, Russel Palma Jarapan, Kent Steven R. Pacquiao, Jonel R. Orquiola, Arissean Gabrielle Bagot, Little Joy Singco, Patricia Rosete, Ronaldo Ventura Celis, Cheyser Mae Macayendeg Rosete, and Jessa Mae Banlawi.

Police have yet to identifiy the suspects behind the attack. (Elena L. Aben)