(Metro News) Binay leads wreath-laying, prayers for victims of bus bombing

January 29, 2011 2:16 am 

MANILA, Jan. 28 — Wreaths, flowers and prayers were offered by the Makati City government officials led by Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay on Friday for the victims of Tuesday’s bus bombing that left five people dead and more than a dozen injured.

Also included in the prayers were the 10 construction workers who fell to their deaths in an accident at a construction site in Makati Thursday.

Binay, along with National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Director Nicanor Bartolome, and Makati Police chief, Senior Superintendent Froilan Bonifacio, hundreds of police personnel in Makati and Southern Police District, and Makati First District Rep. Monique Lagdameo offered white wreaths and flowers at the site of the explosion at the northbound lane of Epifanio Delos Santos Ave. (EDSA).

Friday had been declared as a day of mourning and prayers in the city.

“The city government and the people of Makati offer our sincere condolences and sympathies to the victims and their families. We strongly condemn this despicable and senseless act that has claimed innocent lives and injured civilians,” the mayor said.

”We will remember the victims and pray for peace in our country,” he added.

At the same time, the official vowed the full support and cooperation of the city government in the ongoing investigation to make sure that the perpetrators of the bombing are promptly identified and brought to justice.

“We are committed to doing everything within our power to help the victims get swift justice. I also urge our constituents and the general public to help the authorities prevent acts of terrorism by being vigilant and alerting the police when they sense something suspicious,” he said.

The city government has also asked for additional policemen as well as a contingent from the elite police Special Action Force (SAF) and even the military to augment the undermanned Makati Police Department which has only 538 personnel.

On the construction accident, Binay said they are assisting the families of the victims and that the city engineering office is conducting an investigation to determine who should be held liable.

He also ordered the suspension of the construction pending the results of the ongoing probe.

In an interview, Bartolome, who attended the Day of Mourning, said he is sending more policemen to Makati following the request of Binay.

“We will give additional policemen to Makati. We have already a line-up of policemen and we will just issue orders. I will give additional policemen to all cities in Metro Manila. We started with the deployment of 372 marshals in buses in Metro Manila. We joined this Day of Mourning to expressed our condolences to the victims of the bombing of the bus last Tuesday,” Bartolome said.

Bartolome said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is doing everything to solve the bombing last Tuesday.

“We are trying to locate the whereabouts of the two persons, whom the bus conductor said were the last to alight from the bus before the bomb exploded last Tuesday. They can either provide leads or lead us to the perpetrators of the bombing. These two persons, according to the conductor, boarded the bus in Baclaran. They paid their tickets for Ayala, but they alighted in Malibay. They were carrying bags,” Bartolome said.

Bartolome said the two passengers could be the key to solve the bombing last Tuesday.

“We are not yet totally eliminating all the angles, like the extortion angle, yet. But the extortion angle is now remote. We would rather that the investigation will lead to the identification of the real perpetrators. All angles are being considered. We use evidence because in investigation, evidence is important,” Bartolome said.

For his part, Binay said the city government is now waiting for funds for the installation of more than 40 additional Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) to ensure the safety of its residents and the people doing business in the city.

“We are glad that my request to President Aquino was given consideration. We have at present less than 20 CCTVs installed in major strategic areas in the city,” Binay said. (PNA) scs/CLTC

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