Destruction of Lustre stuns local newsmen PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 11:31

Newsmen who joined the police in the inspection of Lustre St. in Sta. Catalina yesterday were all stunned by the destruction the three-week standoff has brought to the neighborhood.

Lustre is where the PNP’s Sector 1 Team finished its clearing operation.

Before police officials went with the newsmen in the area, Police Regional Information officer Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca and Supt. Kenneth Mission presented several unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices that were retrieved from the area of Lustre during the second day of clearing operation. They include M203 grenade launchers, hand grenades and several others.

PNP officials said the UXOs were recovered in several parts of the the battleground and they considered some of them as “live” and can be exploded.

After the presentation of the recovered UXOs, newsmen were led by the police to see the rubbles and damages brought about by the series of firefights in Lustre. Buildings and houses were either bullet riddled, devastated by explosions or burned by the dozens of fires that broke out during the 20-day siege.

This reporter went up the roof of the KGK building where Commander Habier Malik had made his command post during the battle with government troops. It is where MNLF snipers positioned themselves and killed police and army combatants.

The KGK building and other houses like that of the famly of Fr. Michael Ufana which is located on the other side of the road were severely destroyed. Ufana’s multicab was bullet riddled and burned.

Mayor Beng Climaco, accompanined by Police Director Carmelo Valmoria of the PNP’s Special Action Force inspected the area of Lustre and saw for themselves the destruction that is similar to that which happened in World War 2.

Other parts of the battleground were still undergoing clearing operation and newsmen were not yet allowed to enter the place for their safety. – Dan Toribio Jr.