Saturday, October 20, 2007

Glorietta 2 Blast: Actual videos, reports, more photos, firsthand accounts, casualty update, and latest news

This is a follow-up post
on my earlier posts here and here.

One of the earliest reports about the 10/19 attack hereunder from ANC, a cable news network owned by ABS-CBN:

Photos (of the MALL INTERIORS) sent by a concerned citizen to media outfits, particularly to ABS-CBN:
More photos here.

Then, the reports from TV Patrol, an evening news program:

AND finally, the ultimate hair-raisers - raw videos taken by persons who were there that very moment:

The last video was taken by a certain Miru Tamano Dianalan who actually escaped unimaginable danger by a hair's breadth:

Let's hear it from straight from the horse's mouth:

Here's a video that I took while on the way out of Glorietta 4. Please be patient while it loads. There's not much to see, but hearing the screams still brings chills to my spine.

I was walking near Jollibee Glorietta 4 when it happened. My back was turned to Glorietta 2, when I saw the window glass of Jollibee ripple and felt a shockwave pass through my chest. I thought one of the streamers in the Activity Center fell down or something, so I turned around. It was so surreal. I surveyed the Activity Center and everything was okay. People were walking around as if nothing happened... and then panic ensued. It was like I was in a movie set and the director suddenly yelled 'Action!'. A cloud of smoke seeped from Glorietta 2. People running away from the scene. Screaming. I knew something bad happened but my survival instinct wouldn't kick in. I knew I had to go out of the mall, but curiosity got the better of me. I was even actually contemplating about moving towards Glorietta 2 for a closer look. Better judgement kicked in, so I walked back towards the Glorietta 4 exit.

I couldn't resist not knowing what happened, so I walked outside Glorietta 4 towards Glorietta 2. They already cordoned off the road between Glorietta and Landmark, and I saw that EMT guys were trying to revive a man in a tattered gray shirt. I had to go around Landmark to get to Glorietta 2, and when I got there I knew that a bomb exploded. They were saying it was an LPG explosion, but it was too strong. Plus, the blast happened in the lobby of Glorietta 2 and there were no restaurants nearby.

The scary part is that I was at the blast site 10 minutes before the explosion. I came from Netopia in Park Square 1 where I printed something from my email.
Miru blogs here.


Meanwhile, somewhere in the blogosphere ---

A mother shares her own story and the lessons she learned from her own experience of the 10/19 attack:

...At that point, we didn't know what it was. For some reason though, I feared the worse. My friend, Maricar, asked me what happened and I just said "I think it was a bomb". I guess it was the screams that told me. We peered though the 3rd floor gym lobby and saw the security guard rolling down the steel partitions. Beyond, we could see thick clouds of smoke (we learned later was pulverized cement) billowing from inside the mall and the screams of terror became more audible. I heard the receptionist say the blast came from nearby Timezone. My God! The children! With that thought, I knew I had to focus and look after my own safety. It was a mother's instinct in me that suddenly took control of my every move-- I needed to be safe for my own children...

Complete post here.

Then, her historian son views the tragedy through his discipline and traces back the "history of the Glorietta 2 blast":

May 17, 2000 — A homemade explosive rocks the Glorietta Mall at 5:02 p.m., injuring 12 persons, mostly teenagers. The bomb was reportedly placed in front of a toilet beside a video arcade. The blast causes the collapse of the ceiling of the pedestrian bridge connecting Glorietta 3 to Park Square 2.

May 21, 2000 — A janitor is killed and 17 are injured when a bomb exploded inside a restroom in a cinema at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

Before dawn on May 27, 2000, the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force raids a community in Taguig and arrests 26 suspects in both the Glorietta and Megamall bombings...

Full article here.

Also, another firsthand account from a certain Haydee:

...I distinctly remember I was seating on the couch facing the Glorietta 2 side when I heard a big boom. Together with the big boom was an earth shattering like earthquake. Then in just a couple of seconds, I saw something fell from the ceiling. It was a big chunk but it looked like it didn't weigh much. Then everybody started running as fast as they could towards our direction...
Complete story here.

More firsthand accounts and UPDATE on the injured list and the death toll here.

...Charlie Nepomuceno, an employee at the Glorietta mall, said the powerful explosion appeared to have centered on an escalator.

"It left a deep crater at the foot of the escalator," he said. "It also ripped open the roof of the building. I saw a man thrown on to the roof who had lost a leg."...


Still, somewhere in the blogosphere ---

Conspiracy theories and other suspicions hover around.

Notes from the Peanut Gallery declares:

I cannot help but suspect that the government is creating terrible distractions to draw attention away from the latest Malacanang bribery scandal, where 190 congressmen and officials were handed out glossy bags of cash ranging from 200k-500k.
Read more of his sentiments here.

The Four-eyed Journal couldn't agree more and further asks:

..Or worse, it’s rehearsal of sorts for darker times to come. (read: pre-text for declaring martial law) I pray not...
Four-eyed has more to say here.

The Warrior Lawyer meanwhile inquires if the blast was a "wag the dog" situation and The Patsada Karajaw Nation asks: a diversionary tactics?

And then, there's Bicolano blogger/writer par excellence Gibbs Cadiz who was not so impressed with the security in one of the malls in Metro Manila even right after the bombing and despite reports of heightened security. And then he even adds:

The fact that a bomb would go off now, however, in the midst of a raging political conflagration, is another point to ponder. Two weeks ago it was talk of a new coup attempt, and now this. How convenient. Haven't we seen this script before?

And still
, somewhere in the blogosphere, bloggers called for everyone to offer prayers for the victims which I also did here - like Kevin Lee here, Allen here, and Pas here.

pas-la-truie says:

For all those people who have died in the Glorietta 2 bombing...
For all those who were injured in the Glorietta 2 bombing...
For all those who have lost someone in the Glorietta 2 bombing...
Know that I do care and my prayers are with all of you...
Know that in this world there are people who care.

Prayers for people like Anthony Arroyo who was just buying take-out food at the Luk Yuen restaurant when the explosion happened. Arroyo was planning to treat his friends for a send-off party. He was supposed to fly to Germany today to work as a seaman.

Prayers for people like the two females - and one more precious soul who has yet to see the world at that time and would never be able to, ever - whom Taxi driver Mario Em claimed to had just dropped off at the mall when the blast hurled them against his vehicle, killing them instantly. Mang Mario said he pulled one of the victims, who was pregnant, from underneath his car. Their sad tales and other stories here.

Prayers for all the dead and their relatives, many of whom like Arroyo's wife see such great loss a fatal blast that "simply shattered their dreams and literally turned them into dust."

Prayers for all those who may have survived the ordeal but have to live through the trauma caused by it.

Prayers for the victim's relatives and all those who, like this blogger, are affected by this very sad tragedy.


here are some of the hottest and latest news just off the wire:

  • Oakwood mutineer turned senator Trillanes faces probe from authorities for linking the government to the Glorietta bombing.

...The Muslim community in the Philippines condemns the bomb attack. It is the work of insane people...

  • Glorietta Mall Complex reopens except for damaged portion - with an assurance from Ayala Land, the mall's operator, through Mr. Jaime Ayala its CEO that the rest of the mall is safe. Ayala also stood by their security guards whom he said conduct daily drills; thus, no security lapse could had occurred. lapses at the Glorietta mall enabled suspected terrorists to drive an explosives-laden van to the premises and set it off near a row of shops, killing nine people and wounding scores of others...

  • President Arroyo, for her part, ordered the police and the military to field 2,000 more personnel in Metro Manila particularly in critical areas.

“We assure everyone that a full blown investigation is now underway. The PNP and the AFP are on highest alert and are fielding an additional 2,000 personnel to secure our public places and to prevent a possible similar occurrence,”

“We urge all sectors to remain vigilant as the government steps up security measures to protect our people,”

  • And warns:

“I warn those who seek to destabilize our government not to exploit this incident for their selfish political motives."

  • The Department of Tourism through Secretary Ace Durano assures all concerned that it still safe to travel to the Philippines and even claims that:

“We have called our offices abroad and we communicated with local travel agencies but so far we have no reports of cancellation of bookings,”

  • Also, there is a heightened security in and around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after the bombing.

“Even while investigation of the blast is in progress, we have increased the alert level as a precautionary measure,” Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager and Airport Security Center chairman Alfonso Cusi said. “We do not want to be complacent.

“As an added measure, requests for access passes into the NAIA will be on a need basis only,” Cusi said. He urged airport users to report suspicious looking individuals or unusual occurrences within the NAIA.

Reports may be sent through text at 0917-8396242 (0917 TEXNAIA) or to the Office of the Assistant General Manager for Security at telephone number 833-3806 or to the Airport Security Center at 8771 727.

  • Senators led by Senate President Manuel Villar Jr., for their part, condemn "abominable act" and "call on the public to stay calm while exercising caution and following security measures".
  • Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon said that Makati blast was a "terrorist attack" that could have been perpetrated by leftist, rightist, or extremist elements - and denied that the military has anything to do with it.

...Evidence collected from the Glorietta mall blast site indicates that the bomb "contained RDX, the main chemical component of C4," the police said in a report to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo....

Back in the blogosphere,
a very interesting discussion-cum-debate about the 10/19 Glorietta 2 attack heats up inside one of my favorite hang-out places, the Manuel L. Quezon III blogsite. Care to join the fray?

Sources: The "Blogosphere", youtube, The Philippine Daily Inquirer website, The Philippine Star website, ABS-CBN Interactive

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