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13 hurt in Quiapo blast

Thirteen persons were injured in an explosion in a commercial area in Quiapo, Manila Friday night.

However, the National Capital Region Police Office said yesterday that the public should not panic because the explosion is an isolated case and not an act of terrorism.

It also said that the incident has nothing to do with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

“Walang kinalaman sa ASEAN summit dahil homemade at napakaliit na pipe bomb ang ginamit. Nakita naman natin walang damage to property except ‘yung mesa nung vendor,” NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde said.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa said the explosion was not caused by an Improvised Explosive Device.

According to him, a cellphone, something that was always present in previous terror threats, was not used in the blast.

“Kung pupunta kayo sa scene of explosion, ang amoy talaga pulbura,” he said. “Ang IED na usually ginagamit sa terror attack ay cellphone na de-trigger pero wala naman tayong nakitang parts ng cellphone.”

SPO3 Dennis Insierto of the Manila Police District District Police Intelligence Operations Unit identified the 13 victims as Ramon Carious, 46, and Rolando Gubat, 45, who were taken to the Philippine General Hospital; Pepito Enriquez, 44, who was taken to the Mary Chiles Hospital; Mariano Genabel who was brought to Manila Doctors; and Migine Lopez, 24; Mayvelyn Olipas, 19; Alvin Michael Vallila, 20; Clarissa Macaspac, 24; Amado Flores, 37; Patrick Bagnes, 26; Reynaldo Cabanilla, 28; Ruiz Convicto Jr., 32; and Wilfredo Tomagan, 22, who were taken to Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center.

All these hospitals are located in Manila.

Closed circuit television footages showed motorcycle-riding men passing by the area before the blast.

Initial investigation showed that a homemade pipe bomb was placed under the table of an ambulant vendor on Quezon Boulevard corner Soler St. at 10:12 p.m.

MPD spokesperson Marissa Bruno clarified earlier reports that 14 people were hurt in the blast.

“May nag-double ng count dahil one victim was brought to a hospital and then was transferred to another, so nabilang siya ulit,” Bruno said.

She said that six victims have been discharged, while seven are still confined at JRMMC and PGH, but all – including one whose leg was amputated and one who suffered severe injuries in his butt – are now in stable condition.

One of the victims was back to work hours after the incident.

Tomagan is back in their stall on Soler St., where he and his mother are selling socks and cigarettes for the past year.

“Nung una, akala ko cellphone ko lang ang sumabog kaya ibinaba ko kasi baka masunog. Pero hindi pala dahil masakit na ‘yung paa ko,” he recounted.

Tomagan said he ran away from the area as he feared another explosion with his right foot bleeding.

“Hindi ko na nga po naisip ‘yung nanay ko na nandun din malapit sa lugar. Sa takot ko kasi, tumakbo na ako palayo kahit sobrang sakit ng paa ko,” he said. (Jaimie Rose A. Aberia)