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Dec. 30, 2000 Rizal Day bombings: A long, fearful day of carnage (Feature)
[January 16, 2009]

Dec. 30, 2000 Rizal Day bombings: A long, fearful day of carnage (Feature)


MANILA, Dec 30, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) --
It was a long, fearful day of carnage that occurred eight years ago today.
It was the succession of terrorist attacks and bombings in Manila, Makati City, Quezon City and Paranaque City as the nation marked on Dec. 30, 2000 the l04th anniversary of the martyrdom of the national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

As it was a nationwide holiday and my day-off, I was relaxing in my house in Pacita Complex I Subdivision, Barangay San Vicente, San Pedro, Laguna.

Suddenly, my telephone rang. The call was from the Philippines News Agency (PNA) editorial offices in Quezon City.

The chief editor on duty told me to cancel my day-off and assist the editorial desk in gathering reports on a series of bombing incidents in Metro Manila.

Swiftly, I called up my sources in the Makati City police station. I learned that there was a bomb explosion at a gasoline station along Epifanio delos Santos Ave. (EDSA), near the Ayala station of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3.

Two policemen assigned with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit were instantly killed. One of them was SPO4 Roberto Gutierrez, brother of Senior Supt. Jovito Gutierrez, then the Makati police chief. The other victim was Inspector Nestor Salvador, EOD chief.



Reports said the two bomb experts were about to defuse a wired bomb inside a box on the ground, when it suddenly exploded.

The strong impact of the blast, reports said, threw the two lawmen upward.
Earlier, the box, tied with a long nylon string, was dragged from the Dusit Hotel across the highway and brought to the gasoline station.


Reports said the bomb explosion could have been triggered through a cellphone by an unidentified man posted near Dusit Hotel.

The two courageous policemen, who sacrificed their lives in line of duty, are now heroes of the city as declared by Makati City Mayor Jejomar C. Binay.

The mayor always offers a Mass in memory of the heroic death of the two lawmen every Dec. 30.
This morning, a Makati policeman said a Mass in memory of the two brave policemen was officiated by a priest at the Makati City Police Station.

On Dec. 30, 2000, after I gathered the facts, I wrote the tragic story of Gutierrez and Salvador, and faxed it to the PNA offices at the 2nd Floor of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Building along Visayas Ave., Quezon City.

Elsewhere on the same day, a bomb also exploded at the Blumentritt-Rizal Ave. station of the Light Railway Transit (LRT) I in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Many passengers were killed and hundreds more were wounded in that blast that destroyed an LRT coach.

Then Senior Supt. Avelino Razon, Western Police District (WPD) director, inspected the blast scene. He observed that the impact of the bomb explosion caused the sliding door of the LRT coach to be thrown upward, hanging later at the roof rafter of the LRT station.

Other bombs exploded in a small plaza near the United States Embassy Building in Ermita, Manila; at the NAIA parking area near a depot in Paranaque City, and in a passenger bus on EDSA, Quezon City.

One person was killed and many others were injured in the EDSA bus explosion.
The Rizal Day explosions alerted the military and police authorities on a terrorist plot to wreck havoc in Metro Manila.

To prevent a repeat of the bombing incidents, the police and military authorities directed all establishments and public places such as shopping malls, theaters, schools, hotels, ships and airplanes to double their security checks on bags, boxes, among other measures.

Bomb sniffing dogs were also deployed on these areas.
Until today, the said directive is still in force.

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