Metro Manila on red alert after blast

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — “I’M advising the public not to panic. I have placed the whole NCRPO under full alert.”

Thus said NCRPO chief Director Geary L. Barias as a bomb ripped a stall on the first floor of the Glorietta Mall 2 at 1:30 yesterday, killing six — including a pregnant shopper — and injuring at least 78 others.

Victims identified

Three of the fatalities were identified as Lester Peregrina, Jose Alan de Jesus and Liza Enriquez.

Initial reports identified some of the 31 injured victims who were rushed to the Ospital ng Makati. They are Mario Em, Ana Cesareno, Mar Rex, Jay Barbosa, Mar So, Dino Anjobal, Teresa Rodriguez, Rudy Rodriguez, Melissa Estrada, Yvonne Canada, Hae Won, Ricardo Beltran, Arlene Cortez, Jay Advenza and Isabel Escota.

Two of the victims rushed to the Makati Medical Center were declared in critical condition.

It was a bomb

“From our assessment, hindi ito ’yung initially reported na LPG. Bale ito po ay isang bomba. But beyond that, wala pa po akong masasabi dahil nag-iimbestiga pa nga,” PNO chief Director General Avelino L. Razon told Camp Crame reporters.

He said the information was based on the assessment of his ground commanders.

Asked if the explosion was an accident, Razon said, “Hindi po.”

“Ang masasabi ko ay hindi LPG ang nag-create nito. From the destruction that I saw, hindi po ito LPG,” said Razon, who rushed to the scene of the blast.

Pressed for details, Barias said, “We are not conclusively saying that it is a bomb, but we are not discounting the possibility.”