SEVEN INJURED: Mejia orders thorough probe of 2 bomb blasts PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 August 2012 14:27

Sr. Supt. James Mejia, Officer-in-Charge of the City Police Office, yesterday ordered a thorough investigation of the two bomb explosions that injured seven people in Guiwan and Suterville, this city last Thursday night.

Mejia instructed police investigators to exhaust all means and use all resources to unmask the perpetrators of the twin bombing that took place on the eve of the 100 years celebration of the Bank of PI that expects to bring in top Makati businessmen and executives led by Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Police said the first explosion that injured seven people, including the fare collector, took place around 9:20 p.m. Thursday aboard an inter-provincial passenger bus owned by the Rural Transit Management Inc. (RTMI).

Investigation showed that the RTMI bus with body number 9224 had just arrived from Pagadian City and is about 200 meters away from the bus terminal in Barangay Guiwan, east of this city, when the bomb exploded aboard the bus.

The explosion damaged the rear portion of the bus.

Passengers injured in the explosion were Lando Padilla y Canlas, 32, of Divisoria, Sheryl Posadas Suma, 32, of Ayala, Resis Gatchalian y Narciso, 56, of Guiwan, Ranielle Palanas y Navotas, 22, of Sta. Catalina, Rochel Sumpo y Villanueva, 15, of Ayala, Mac-Owen Plaomar y Maraña, 2 and his mother Rizzybeth Palomar, 27, both of Buayan, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay. They were rushed to the different hospitals for treatment of injuries in the body. One of them was described as in critical condition.

Personnel of the explosive ordnance demolition (EOD) recovered concrete nails used as the shrapnel of the improvised bomb that exploded aboard the bus, police said.

Information received by DZT disclosed that a male and female passengers were seen by bus conductor Benjie Parantar alighted in Putik particularly near Yubenco Starmall.

They were acting suspiciously, Parantar said.

No one was either killed or injured in the second explosion that took place outside a mosque shortly before 11 p.m. in Suterville in Barangay San Jose Gusu.

Police were sifting the vicinity of the mosque where the second explosion took place to determine what type of explosive was used.

In an interview, Charlie Helioren, one of the bus passengers who luckily did not sustain any injury because he was seated in the front row said that the explosion was deafening.    “There were about over 20 of us aboard the bus but some alighted near the overpass in Barangay Putik but still many were left, then upon nearing the bus terminal a woman alighted... When the driver started to run the bus he stood up asking if someone is at the door because there was a sound which I thought was just from a certain propeller or something then there was an explosion,”Helioren recalled.
Helioren boarded the bus in Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay and was bound for Zamboanga City where he is to fly  for Manila.

Another passenger, Mylene Arando from Licomo, who happened to sit at the middle section, did not sustain injury. She said the incident was so  fast that she doesn’t even know how she got off the bus.

It is believed that the main target of the bomb attack was the crowded bus terminal in Guiwan but the bomb went off just meters away before reaching the terminal. — Dan Toribio Jr. with report from Jeremiah Francisco and Darlene Christine Riza M. Cristobal/WMSU MassCom OJT