| Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City. Bombing
Special Investigation Report: Re: May 29, 2008
This is a motu proprio investigation on the May 29, 2008 bombing of an establishment along Sta. Maria Street, this City, just across the street from the main entrance of Colonel Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB).
Initial investigation conducted by the undersigned disclosed that at about 9:45 in the morning yesterday (May 29, 2008), an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), as per information gathered from the authorities during the investigation, was placed and exploded on the concrete flower box just outside the office of the Alliance for Mindanao Off-Grid Renewable Energy Program or AMORE, a US-funded power firm. Adjacent to it is the office of Zamboanga City District 1, Congresswoman Hon. Ma. Isabelle Climaco.
The said blast claimed the lives of two (2) innocent civilians, injured at least twenty-four (24) persons, including four (4) minors, and had caused severe damages on the properties of the two aforementioned offices.
The victims of this terrorist attack were immediately brought to nearby hospitals for medical attention, however, two of them died while undergoing medical treatment. The dead and the injured victims were later on identified respectively as follows:
Except for Amelita Algones, Carmen Paltinca, Hosana Jane Paltinca, Arnel Carbonilla and Amie Ammad, who are still confined at the hospitals for the injuries sustained, the rest of the victims were considered as out-patients as they sustained minor injuries and were allowed to leave the hospital.
It was also gathered that during the time the bomb exploded, there were numerous people at the parking area of the building occupied by the offices of Congresswoman Ma. Isabelle Climaco and AMORE, awaiting their chance to board the C-130 plane bound for Manila. It was also during this time that a passenger jeepney and a motorized tricycle passed by that area; hence some of the passengers were injured.
The blast occurred minutes after the flight of President Gloria M. Arroyo, took off for Tawi-Tawi province.
Ocular investigation on the area conducted by the undersigned showed how powerful the explosive device was as it severely ripped off the concrete flower box, the steel roll-up door, the air conditioning unit and other fixed objects thereat. However, not one of the victims could give exact details of the incident as, according to them, the incident happened so fast.
Furthermore, it was gathered that the signature of the bomb used in the explosion led the local authorities to the conclusion that the bomb could be the handiwork of the MILF. The bomb used was similar to the bomb used in the recent bombing of the Zamboanga City Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Moreover, the local authorities believe that the bomb explosion was a diversionary tactic against the government as the latter is holding an offensive against the MILF in Basilan Province.
The Local Government and the DOH in Zamboanga City extended medical assistance to the victims of the blast; while the local police are on the trail of the suspects. The police have also gathered evidence that a white van was seen before the incident and they believe that the same could have been used in the planting of the bomb. The owner of the vehicle is currently being interrogated to ascertain his involvement in the matter.
Photographs of the scene were taken to form part of this report.