Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

27 hurt in General Santos City blast

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines—(UPDATE 4) A grenade exploded at the city's Oval Plaza as hundreds of people were celebrating the end of the year late evening Wednesday.

At least 27 people -- two of them police officers tasked to help secure the packed plaza -- were injured in the explosion, which occurred a few hours into the New Year.

Police authorities said they were not discounting the involvement of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the 9:10 p.m. blast at the plaza, where the "Paskuhan sa GenSan 2008" celebration was being held.

Police Officer 1 Janver Pales and Police Officer 1 Romelyn Luminquit, who were part of the security team, were wounded along with 25 other victims.

Only one victim, Michelle Borromeo, remained in critical condition at the General Santos Doctor's Hospital.

Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. told reporters that the safety pin of the grenade used was recovered by the members of the police's bomb disposal unit near the booth of Katangawan village at the western portion of the oval plaza, about 30 meters away from the explosion site.

Paskuhan sa GenSan is an annual event staged by the city government to make the Christmas celebration among locals here even more meaningful and colorful.

Various Christmas-related activities would be held at the oval plaza during this time, aside from the usual carnival fair, flea market, pavilions and display booths of various barangays.

Acharon said as early as last week, he has already been receiving reports that a certain group will stage attacks in several areas in Central Mindanao.

The oval plaza blast was the second bomb attack here during the last days of 2008.

Around 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, two civilians and a policeman on duty were injured when a motorcycle-riding suspect tossed a grenade near a police outpost in the intersection of Jose Catolico Avenue and Tiongson Street in Lagao Village.

Senior Superintendent Robert Po, City Police Chief, said they are looking at two angles as possible motives behind the incidents.

Po said it could be in retaliation for the raid conducted by the police intelligence operatives in purok Camasi in Ligaya village early Wednesday; and second, this could also be part of the MILF's region-wide operations against government forces.

Aside from the city, other areas in Central Mindanao like Maasim town in Sarangani Province; Polomolok and Tantangan towns in South Cotabato; and Esperanza and Isulan towns in Sultan Kudarat Province have either been attacked or rocked by explosions believed to be perpetrated by the MILF rebels.

The MILF has consistently denied its involvement in the attacks. (By Aquiles Zonio with a report from Julie Alipala, INQ.net)

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