Kenney backs PNP on blast findings

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Philippine National Police yesterday thanked United States Ambassador Kristie Kenney’s for supporting their initial findings that an accidental explosion and not a terror attack was behind the Oct. 19 blast that killed 11 people and wounded more than 100 others inside the Glorietta 2 mall in Makati City.

”We have to thank the Ambassador for her remarks based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s findings. It just shows that even the American government do believe that it was a gas explosion and not the handiwork of terrorits,” Director Geary Barias, National Capital Region Police Office chief, said.

Ambassador Kenney described the blast as a “tragic accident” and said those saying otherwise must realize what a real terror attack in Metro Manila would mean for the country as a whole.

She also said that the U.S. government is satisfied with the current government investigation into the blast.

Barias said the FBI finding was consistent with that of the Australian Federal Police, which ruled out any bomb explosion at the site and said it was most probably triggered by a gas explosion.

Barias also maintained that they are not yet ready to say who will be charged in connection with the incident. “But for sure, our findings will be contested by those who will be indicted,” he said.

Barias also maintained that somebody has to pay for the death of 11 people and injuries of more than 100 others in the explosion.

“Somebody has to be held accountable for the death of these 11 people either they are terrorists or either they are some other personalities.”

Barias said they have also that if the Ayala Land Inc. will rebut their findings, it is up for the court to decide.

He said they are still in the process of determining the source of the explosion. “We want to be sure about that and whom are we asking these questions now? We’re asking the questions from Makati Supermart since it has been said that the Makati Supermart is the one who hired the services of another maintenance company in the area,” he said.

Barias also stood by the initial findings made by the Australian Federal Police that the explosion was not caused by a bomb but gas.

“The AFP did not say what type of gas. They just said it was a gas explosion coming from the basement,” he said.

Barias said that they will make their final conclusion once the Philippine Bomb Data Center and the task force fails to find any pieces of bomb fragments at the site.