My condolences to the four people who died in the bombing at the Batasang Pambansa complex last November 13, including Rep. Wahab Akbar of Basilan and staff members whose only fault may have been that they wanted to earn their keep to sustain a family. They are but the recent victims of the violent ways that have swept the country and the world.
I received a text message, which I reckon was being forwarded to other cell phone owners a thousand times already, that is not flattering to the House of Representatives and Congress in general. It said: “Explosion at Congress may also have been caused by trapped methane gas, after all, Congress is one big septic tank full of shit. ” The allusion to methane gas was obviously from the police theory that the earlier Glorietta mall blast was an accident caused by the accumulation of the said gas from a faulty septic tank.
Police believe that the target of the explosion was Akbar because the bomb placed in a motorcycle was detonated just when he was walking near it. But that is but speculation as of the moment because evidences are still being gathered so probers can come up with a more credible conclusion. My point is, it is also possible that the bombers wanted to hit two birds with one stone: kill Akbar and shame Congress and the Arroyo administration.
I did expect, however, the usual critics of President Arroyo to insinuate that Malacañang was behind the bombing. I heard one partylist congresswoman, for example, who said that explosions occur everytime major issues occur. The House, for example, was tackling the impeachment complaint against the President when the bombing happened. The bombing was supposed to be diversionary.
Similar-minded critics have earlier jumped to the conclusion that the Glorietta blast was the handiwork of Malacañang, a theory that may yet be shamed by the investigation that pointed to the explosion as accidental. Even Sen. Panfilo Lacson has acknowledged that foreign governments didn’t receive intelligence reports about terrorist groups launching a strike at that time in Metro Manila. Lacson is not only a former general, he was accused of being the recepient of “spying” activities of Michael Ray Aquino in the United States.
Unlike in Glorietta, scene-of-the-crime operators have found pieces of evidence that the Batasan complex blast was caused by a bomb. Among the finds were fragments of a cell phone used to detonate the bomb and nails used as shrapnels. So there’s no longer any quarrel what caused the explosion. The only problem for authorities now is to find out who did it.
What I would just like to say is that the Batasan complex blast only shows how vulnerable we are to terrorist attacks. It showed that even supposedly highly secured institutions like Congress can be penetrated by groups or individuals determined to spark mayhem and sow fear on the populace. The incident should therefore raise the awareness of those concerned to the need to beef up security easpecially on important facilities and business establishments.
–Bong Wenceslao, November 15, 2007