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Could Mumbai-Type Attacks Happen in Manila?

November 29, 2008


Could the horrific multiple-target terrorist attacks in India’s financial center Mumbai happen in the Philippines.

Though unthinkable, we are sure local security authorities, assuming that intelligence budgets are spent the way they should be,are copiously reading the news accounts about the end of the 3-day seige and the fact that failure of intellgience is being blamed by Indian citizens in the attacks that claimed hundreds of lives with foreigners among the scores of civilian fatalities.

It was no surprise then that the Philippine Coast Guard chief was asked about their anti-terror readiness at today’s new forum inSulo Hotel in Quezon City.

Also today, the new chief of the PNP unit in Metro Manila, Director Leopoldo Bataoil was reassuring radio listeners that they are securing all bus terminals in the wake of last week’s attack by armed men on the Lingayen, Pangsinan depot of popular bus firm Victory Lines.

5 buses were gutted in the attack, bringing to 9 the number of Victory buses lost in such incidents. 4 bus units were also razed when attackers swooped down on the Victory bus terminal in Quezon City’s populous Cubao shopping district last year. In yet another incident outside Manila, a military jeep carrying soldiers were ambushed last week by suspect communist rebels.

Still etched in the memory of Manilans is the 2004 firebombing of Superferry 14 right in Manila Bay were about 100 were killed. That incident was authored by the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf.

Ordinary citizens are on tenterhooks over just how safe public gathering places can be.

But they have no real choice but to be highly selective of th places they visit with the Christmas shopping and holiday-making mood enveloping the Philippine capital.

It’s a worn out phrase but we do have to keep our fingers crossed.



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