CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A grenade was lobbed at the ancestral house of Deputy House Speaker Rufus Rodriguez in Barangay Nazareth early dawn on Wednesday, September 29.

According to a police report, the grenade, which did not explode, was lobbed from outside the main gate and landed on the house’s garage, by two motorcycle-riding persons at about 1:11 a.m.

Maj. Evan Viñas, city police spokesperson, said the MK2 grenade failed to explode probably because the safety lever was not removed.

He said they are waiting for the full report from the Explosive and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team to determine why the grenade did not go off or if it was live.

It was also possible, he said, that the incident was only meant to scare the Rodriguez family after the congressman announced that he was considering on running for city mayor in the upcoming elections.

He added police computer specialists are now working to enhance the CCTV footage hoping to find out the suspects’ identities.

“Col. Aaron Mandia, our city police director, has directed our special units and operatives to deepen their investigation and identify the suspects and establish the motive,” said Viñas.

Rodriguez said this is the first time that such incident happened to him and his family, several of whom had held or are currently holding elective positions.

His brother Maximo Jr. used to be the city’s second district representative; his sister Jocelyn is a member of the city council, while his nephew Maximo III is the chairman of Nazareth.

The legislator is also the founder of the Abante Mindanao (ABAMIN) partylist, and the president of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines.

Rodriguez said he has been in politics for 18 years. He spent 12 years as congressman and six years as vice governor and provincial board member of Misamis Oriental, and in those times, he had never been in a personal fight with political rivals nor he received any form of threat.

“No one from our family has personal enemies, although we have political adversaries. After the election, we forget about it and good relations are restored,” Rodriguez said in a radio interview.

In spite of what happened, Rodriguez said the grenade-throwing has not dampened his resolve to either seek reelection as congressman or run for the mayoralty post.

“I am not affected by this since our only goal is to serve the people,” he said, adding that he is the mostly likely target of the threat among the family members.

But Rodriguez thinks the incident could be politically motivated after his announcement recently, although he has clarified that he is in talks with his local political allies on the possibility of him running for city mayor.

“I am in meetings with Gov. Bambi Emano and PHIVIDEC administrator Pompee La Viña on the matter. No final decision has been reached yet,” he said, adding it has not been decided who among them will seek for the mayoralty race.

Emano is the head of the regional party PaDayon Pilipino and is on his last term as governor, while La Viña, who ran for the mayoralty race in 2019 but lost to incumbent mayor Oscar Moreno, has ties to President Rodrigo Duterte, serving as his campaign team member in the 2016 presidential elections.

It remains to be seen if Emano will run as mayor or as congressman of Misamis Oriental.

“I still have two terms as congressman, but many of my supporters want me to run as mayor. We will see,” he added.

In a separate interview, Maximo III said the incident was a shock to the Rodriguez family, but he added it did not cower them.

He said that at the time the grenade was thrown, no family member was at the house, adding that the congressman and his siblings, including him, has rooms in the house on 14th-16th Sts. Only a security person was present.

“We are thankful that no one was around and that the grenade did not explode,” he added.
comments powered by Disqus