Solon, 2 others dead as bomb explodes in Batasan

By: Vergelijken.De Vergelijk Hier Leningen  11/16/2007
Keywords: philippines, Web Development, Internet

Solon, 2 others dead as bomb explodes in BatasanNov 14, 2007JUST after the House of Representatives adjourned its plenary session Tuesday night at a little past 8 p.m., a blast emanating from what the Philippine National Police (PNP) determined as an improvised explosive device (IED) tore right through the South Wing entrance of the Batasan Pambansa Complex in Quezon City. Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar, who was at the entrance when the IED detonated, was pronounced dead at 10:25 p.m. at the Far Eastern University Hospital in Fairview. He succumbed to an open fracture in the forehead and jaw, and a damaged right leg.Also dead on the spot was Marcial Tando, the driver of Gabriela party-list Representative Luzviminda Ilagan. Tando was inside Rep. Ilagan's car which was parked outside the South Wing area; he was waiting for Ilagan who was on her way out when the blast occurred.PNP said Tando sustained “a very big wound” in his nape.Rep. Ilagan was also injured by the blast. She was rushed to the General Miguel Malvar Hospital due to sustained wounds but was reported to be in stable condition in St. Luke’s Medical Center.Negros Oriental Representative Pryde Henry Teves was also hurt by the blast and is now being treated in St. Luke’s Medical Center.A few minutes past midnight, GMA-7’s ‘Saksi’ reported that one of Teves' staff, 30-year-old Maan Gale Bustalino, had died at the Capitol Medical Center. Bustalino was being transferred to the St. Luke’s Medical Center from the General Miguel Malvar Hospital on Commonwealth Avenue when her vital signs deteriorated. The ambulance that carried Bustalino quickly headed to the CMC instead, but Maan didn’t make it.At least seven more people were reported injured due to shrapnel wounds.PNP reported that initial investigations revealed the IED was left on a motorcycle parked near Ilagan’s car. The police also believes the explosive was remotely detonated. The blast left a three-foot crater.National Capital Region Police Director Geary Barias said that this incident could be an assassination plot aimed at Akbar, but added that the PNP still has to confirm this.At midnight, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appeared on national television and called for the immediate and thorough investigation of the explosion. She assured Filipinos and foreign countries that her government would hunt down those responsible.She also implored to everyone not to believe any speculations arising from this terrible event; instead, she called for unity under these trying times.Immediately followed by a live press conference led by Interior secretary and presidential political adviser Ronaldo Puno, he dismissed this "violent crime against specific individuals or the institution" as precursor to the declaration of a Martial Law or an emergency rule. Puno called these fears as “all frivolous talk."House Speaker Jose de Venecia meanwhile condemned the explosion as an act of terrorism, which came on the eve of the resumption of a congressional hearing of the impeachment complaint against President Arroyo.“I mention the possibility of a terrorist, an anarchist or an extremist who wants to destabilize... the national government,” De Venecia said.Troops went on heightened alert in Metro Manila and checkpoints were set up in strategic streets.Akbar’s body was scheduled to be flown home to Basilan at 3 a.m. Wednesday on a C130 plane in keeping with Muslim tradition to bury the dead within 24 hours.

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