When I arrived back at my apartment last night at about 10 p.m., we were watching BBC where the news report that there was a bomb blast at the House of Representative, in Quezon City. The bomb blast killed 3 people including one of the local Congressman Wahad Akbar and also injured 7 people.
This is the second bomb blast since I was here in Manila. Luckily I am still fine. Quezon City is located about half and hours taxi drive from Makati. The tension of the bomb blast last night can be seen when we reached the office where our bags are throughly checked by the security guard for any conceal weapons of destrution.
Here is a news clipping of the news in the local news site:
A bomb explosion at an entrance of the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Tuesday evening killed three people, including Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar, and injured at least seven others.
The National Police and the Armed Forces immediately went on full alert.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered Director General Avelino Razon, National Police chief, to personally lead the investigation of the explosion. The President said Razon should "submit periodic reports as warranted."
In a nationwide telecast late Tuesday evening, the President called for sobriety.
Director Geary Barias, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, said the driver of Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan was also killed in the explosion. The driver was identified as Marcial Talbo.
Maan Bustalino, a staff member of Negros Oriental Rep. Pryde Henry Teves, who was also injured in the explosion, expired while being transfered from Malvar General Hospital on Commonwealth Avenue to the St. Luke's Medical Center on E. Rodriguez Sr. boulevard. She was rerouted to the Capitol Medical Center on Quezon Avenue instead where she was pronounced dead.
Teves, 34, is a nephew of Finance Secretary Margarito Teves and a grandson of his predecessor, Rep. Herminio G. Teves.
Bustalino, who is from Dipolog City, is in her early-30's. She is taking up law at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.
She has worked at Congress since the time of the finance secretary when he was still a congressman. She is a relative of the Teveses.
The explosion went off as the House ended its session at past 8 p.m.
"At this point in time I'm saying it's a bomb, but I can't say what type of bomb," said Razon.
Police investigators suspect the bomb might have been placed on one of two parked motorcycles then remotely detonated as Akbar approached his car, fatally wounding him and ripping the motorcycles apart, Barias said.
"It looks like Congressman Akbar was the target," Barias said.
Akbar, a former governor of Basilan province and reportedly a former member of the Abu Sayyaf group, had claimed he was a target of his former comrades.
Some security officials have suspected that Akbar knew the leaders of the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim radical group that has its roots on Basilan island. But they said he later had a falling out with Abu Sayyaf commanders and started fighting them.
Akbar also had political opponents, including those that ran against one of his wives who succeeded him as governor of Basilan.
The bomb went off as drivers were picking up lawmakers and their staff and damaged a number of cars outside the south wing entrance to the Batasan Pambansa building.
"I felt the blast although I was on the other side of the building. The ceiling of the canopy near the south wing entrance came down," Rep. Teodoro Casino told The Associated Press.
Rep. Joel Villanueva of the party-list Citizen's Battle Against Corruption said he was at the south wing of the building when he heard a "very loud explosion."
Witnesses said they saw a van and one or two vehicles burning after the explosion.
Razon said a destroyed motorcycle was found and experts were conducting chemical swabs on it to find out if it was used to carry the bomb.
Police cordoned off the massive House complex in suburban Quezon City shortly after the explosion.
"If this is terrorist action or work of an anarchist I'm sure it was deliberately done to cow us," House Speaker Jose de Venecia told reporters at the site.
Political tensions are high in the country. President Arroyo is facing a third impeachment complaint in as many years.
"We cannot rule out anything until the investigation is completed," De Venecia said. "There are many threats to us personally and officially. We will have to decide whether we have to augment security."
He said he will speak with the President "to inform her tonight that we will not be cowed by terrorists."
The Philippine capital has been jittery since last month, when an explosion damaged a shopping mall in the financial district of Makati, killing 11 people and injuring more than 100 others. A preliminary police report said it was an accident, although the owners of the mall disputed the finding.
Militants have bombed targets in the capital in the past.