(2nd Nightlead) Senate begins probe of CDO bombing

August 8, 2013 10:32 am 

By Azer Parrocha

MANILA, Aug 7 (PNA) — The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, led by Sen. Grace Poe, began Wednesday investigating the Cagayan de Oro bombing last July 26.

The Senate was joined by the Dept. of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima as well as local officials and medical professionals.

A PNP report said eight people — mostly doctors and pharmaceutical representatives — died from the blast, which occurred at a bistro near a hotel where a recent medical convention was held.

The DILG and PNP investigations are ongoing; however, Roxas said they will meantime not relay any information to the public as to whether the blast was a result of a personal grudge, a terrorist attack or a local issue.

Alert levels have heightened and a watch list or a chart of who has the capacity to perform the act of bombing will also soon be made public, he said.

Roxas also said that they will only stick to the facts and not divulge any additional details regarding the blast to not make it a reason for suspects to take cover.

Meanwhile, CDO mayor, Oscar Moreno said that right now, the priority must involve identifying the people involved, terminating the occurrence of such blasts, eventually arresting suspects and incorporating a P2 million reward for those who can find them.

Committee Vice Chair Gregorio Honasan said the primary objective was to strengthen the laws and make sure incidents like these would not recur.

Poe supported Honasan’s statement by explaining the need to enforce laws and perhaps, in the future bring back certain penalties like life imprisonment for individuals who carry explosive devices without permits.

The lady senator also raised the matter concerning the budget of P1.5 million set to assist the bombing victims as well as a separate budget for their children for possible psychological treatment.

In addition, she wanted the PNP’s assurance they would watch over easily obtained weapons in Mindanao, especially explosives.

The senate, DILG and PNP are also deliberating as to whether they will have an executive session regarding the bombing incident. (PNA)



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