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Philippines: Bomb scare grips the country

Several Philippine cities have been hit by bomb blasts in the past week. Bombs exploded in Jolo, Iligan City, Kauswagan, Cotabato City and Datu Piang. In Metro Manila a plot to bomb the office of the Ombudsman, Department of Agriculture and in Katipunan, Quezon City was discovered by authorities. More than 60 bomb attacks have been reported this year in the country.

Who is responsible for the recent bomb explosions? The government accuses separatist rebels of masterminding the attacks. Government critics believe the bombings were the handiwork of the military. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the bomb attacks.

The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society urges all groups of all faiths in the southern Mindanao island to be “more vigilant and strengthen their unity and solidarity in the face of these bleak incidents.” The group adds:

This is NOT a Muslim-Christian conflict. Let us clear our minds and fortify our greatest resolve not to allow these dastardly acts to successfully sow suspicion and animosity that could lead to conflict

Mindanao Peoples Caucus asks whether the bombings are linked to the forthcoming presidential elections:

Who is doing this and what are their motives? Is there a grand design that is spinning a desired political scenario? Are we already witnessing before our eyes and at the expense of our people a build up scenario for 2010 (elections)?

Luis Teodoro reminds readers to learn from the lessons of history:

…the Marcos (former Philippine president) military orchestrated a series of bombing incidents and bomb threats to convince the middle classes of the need for the government to take drastic measures in the face of the threat not only to the daily routines but also to the very lives of the populace.

Rep. Teddy Casino suspects that the bombings were meant to distract the attention of the people from “real issues and the threat of emergency rule”:

The lack of conclusive information on the motives and perpetrators of the bombings reinforces the suspicion that either there is a failure of intelligence or the obfuscation is deliberately orchestrated to divert the public's attention from the real issues and the threat of emergency rule. (President Gloria) Arroyo remains as the sole beneficiary of what's going on.

Noel Colina warns that

The bombing of a church in Cotabato is a terrorist act! It prepares the ground for declaring military rule and benefits the hawks in gov't.

The bombings are affecting the behavior of many people. A bomb scare is gripping the country, especially Metro Manila, the nation’s political and economic capital. The Construct shares how many establishments are getting paranoid over the bombings

I visited a bank and they were locked down like the Armageddon is coming. The security guards were frisking everyone…They had to open the door and lift security shutters before letting anyone in.

Letters to Mindanao is disappointed over the government response to the bombings

Government’s response to the incidents is dismal to say the least. All they did was to pass the buck and blame the incident to a convenient target. It does not help at all, in fact it builds more animosity between and among the peoples of Mindanao.

Please, no more bombing.

No more blaming.

Spirituality Page notes that the mysterious bombs exploded a few weeks before the president is about to deliver her last State of the Nation Address

Now my question is, why the series of bombing before Arroyo's SONA (State of the Nation Address) where she will dictate the Congress to convene as constituent assembly and declare a martial law simply to extend her term in office? Hmmmm, sorry I have speculatedly answered my question in the way I phrased it. Well, who else will not speculate about these mysterious bombs?

Blame ‘em.

Twitter reactions on the bomb blasts

shylahbabe24: I'm bored. The weather is so hot! I am at the internet cafe. Our work was suspended. There's a bomb threat in our building.
chie2287: already in cagayan de oro via bukidnon. heard abt a bombing in sm davao this morning. was just there yesterday! gahd! scary!
Normankonrad: Unlike the purported QC bomb attempts, the Mindanao bombings had to be deadly to lend credence that there is real and present danger.
ilipam: my heart goes to the victims of the recent bombings in Cotabato City…
francesgm: Now tell me, are these blasts (and bomb threats) a prelude to declaration of martial law? I dont know too. Nothing is impossible in this …
lenytl: There's no need to bomb the front of the Church and hurt the innocent if you want to be heard down south in Mindanao.
ercg: what satisfaction do people get when they set off a bomb in the midst of a busy establishment, thus kill innocent people?
bongmontesa: The oldst trick in the playbk: bomb a xtian church so dat muslms bcom suspects. Bomb a mosque so dat xtians bcom suspects. Dont b fooled.

Twitter users from Cotabato and Iligan where bombs exploded a few days ago

nina_charisse: paranoid about the bombing here in cotabato,a lot of people were dead… if people want to be safe,then they should trust in God & stay home
hellojogsy: trying to focus on my work despite of the bombing incident in the city and being burglarized in our store..

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