Pre-Halloween Blasts: Mischief Or Warning? (Updated)
Philippine Star photos)
It may likely be chalked up as pre-Halloween stunt by mischief makers, the pre-dawn explosion that rocked the environs of Quezon’s City Katipunan Avenue/Ateneo where the improvised explosive device wrecked a Honda Civic.
Was the target just the innocently parked or was it the privately-owned One Burgundy Plaza condominium?
That condo was in the news just last July, one of three places where curious explosions also took place just as rumors where swirling in Metro Manila about an anti-government “destabilization” plot linked to restive elements in the uniformed services.
Last night before this writer went to bed little past 8 p.m. a curious message which I ignored had come about a new ‘activity you should watch’.
Hours later this:
The first explosion occurred at One Burgundy Plaza, a residential condomium along Katipunan Avenue and across Ateneo de Manila University, at around 2 a.m.
Radio dzMM reported that the explosion came from a bag left behind a parked red Honda Civic with plate number WFY 927, owned by Allan Valencia, 22.
Aimer Gaduran, a security guard working at the said building, said he saw the bag behind the car. When he checked it, smoke suddenly came out of the bag. He immediately ran away. Moments later the bag exploded.
Valencia’s car was damaged in the incident, and the explosion was strong enough to knock out glass windows from the 3rd floor of the building, dzMM reported. Other vehicles in the area, however, were undamaged.
The explosion was strong enough to be heard at least 2 blocks away from the building, the report said.
Around the same time of the incident in Quezon City on Friday dawn, a second explosion occurred at Unionbank Plaza along Meralco Avenue in Ortigas Center, radio dzMM reported.
Initial findings by operatives from the Eastern Police District (EPD) said that the explosion at the Unionbank Plaza was caused by a pillbox, causing minor damage to the building’s plant boxes.
The address shot out of the page along with the recollection that One Burgundy Plaza is where the family of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo once occupied a penthouse suite.
Last June, the same condominium had a bomb scare. A “suspicious package” was found by the security guard near an electric post adjacent to One Burgundy Plaza.
I blogged about that here:
So was today’s pre-dawn bombing a Halloween act of cruel mischief-doers or was it something else?
I’m putting my ears close to the ground and making some calls.
Police are now saying the two blasts were just the handiwork of warring youth gangs:
Metro police chief Director Roberto Rosales said the two explosions “were meant only to sow fear among rival fraternities and gangs.” He also assured the public that the blasts “were not in any way related to any destabilization attempt against the Arroyo” administration.
He noted that nobody was hurt in the twin explosions, though a silver Honda Civic (WFY-927) was damaged in the Quezon City blast.
Reports reaching Rosales stated that the explosion near the Burgundy Plaza building along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City was a result of a fraternity war while the blast in front of the Union Bank Plaza building along Meralco Avenue in Ortigas Center was part of a gang war.
Rosales urged the public not to panic as the National Capital Region Police Office is on top of the peace and order in Metro Manila despite the fact that the NCRPO is in the thick of security preparations for typhoon “Santi” and the observance of All Saints’ Day on Sunday.
I hope the police findings hold.