Archive for October, 2007

Makati Bombings: A look back at other tragic events

Remembering other ‘Makati Bombings’

There are i m sure more incidents – but,  this is cross section of the types of attacks and some of the ones i was clearly able to find reference to online. I’ll update these over th days ahead.

The Makati Bombing Inquiry continues; I chose to call it still a bombing as theory’s of a accidental explosion may yet prove to be part of the overall impact of destruction in the area. – this was originally a comment on ‘Coffee with Amee’ -but I decide to make it a post of my own.

Meaning, as investigators have told me in interviews there was more than one explosion. A primary- and a secondary. What they are worried over is that the secondary explosion – yes there were two – may have been strong enough to scatter evidence from the first and add its own signature to the overall forensic investigation.

In rpeorts I’ve written for a news organization – the event status of the investigation a few items I’ve put on the site of;

Raised the overall history of terror attacks at the Philippines premier shopping district that go back to the late 1970’s-1980’s. Rustan’s and Shoemart package counters were the favorite target then – so were the food courts. But – who were behind those attacks – people died were hurt and injured some say it was ‘justified’ because at the time it was revolution versus a dictatorship- yet the injured were hurt just the same. Yrt, there has never been any remorse said by those who took part- If you wonder where they are today – don’t look far – they are on your T.V. sets. One is in charge of children’s programs for major TV network. Yet that is the past…

[] …A terrorist group calling itself the April 6 Liberation Movement, after a massive 1978 anti-Marcos demonstration in Manila, had warned the travel agents to boycott the convention. Even though terrorists had set off some 20 bombs since August, killing one person and injuring scores,..

The April 6 Movement is the most visible, and most violence-prone, member of a new constellation of radical opposition groups that is sometimes called the Third Force, because it is both anti-Marcos and antiCommunist. The Third Force is composed mainly of middle-class Filipinos, [] TIME

I also remeber in the 1990’s the attack on the greenbelt theater by Al Qaeda’s early cell in manila – headed by Khalid Sheik mohamad and ramsey Youseff. The greenbelt theater was hit although damage was minimal there were injuries.

[] Dec. 1, 1994, Greenbelt Theater, Manila, Philippines, Ramzi Yousef (Organizer), Khalid Shaikh Mohammed – “This detonation was a test run for a bombing timer Yousef had built. ” [] Source: United States vs. Ramzi Yousef, et. al. indictment.

Participants Ramzi Yousef (Organizer) , Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (Facilitator) , Wali Khan Amin Shah (Facilitator)
Participants Abdul Hakim Murad (Facilitator)

Gangs have had grenade attacks and one or two disco’s were shot up and bombed as well over the decades. But, most peoples memories dont go back that far – most only remember for example the 2005 Valentines day and the Rizal day bombings of 2000.

But it is important to also mention the Makati’ bomb squad has prevented numerous attempts most go unreported – others are overlooked- two officers I knew and still remember ran with a bomb in December 2000 saving perhaps hundreds from injury taking the bomb to a then empty lot across EDSA from the Dusit -giving their lives to try and defuse a bomb there. it had been placed near SM Makati and the Dusit Hotel.

They saved perhaps as many as were lost in Fridays blast but there is little mention of SPO4 Roberto Gutierrez or Inspector Nestor Salvador, now, they got the medal of valor in 2001. Both died in the explosion of a bomb left by Jemaah Islamiah,
Scores of these attacks take place many often foiled, when something does happen though
– people are quick to judge, putting it in the politics of the moment. In 2000 the attacks helped fuel public anger versus then President Estrada – who – in that particular case was innocent – I stood with Erap at Chinese medical center when he visited a boy we later called Emanuel, he must be about twelve now – I saw tears in Estrada’s eyes – even in the police and PSG with him – yet my editors and producers – ironically still working at the TV network, refused my story since they had their own minds made up as to ‘who dun it’.
Fathur Roman Al Ghozi the mastermind was initially ignored by media in his attempts to claim responsibility – months later; after EDSA 2 people finally realized the bombings were the work of JI or Jemaah Islamiah. To to those spinning this for politcal benifit.
There is little from this though to comfort those who lost someone – or a part of themselves at blast scene of these kind of attacks or tragic accident what-ever it turns out to be or a combination of both.

I’ll wait for the investigation and continue to file my reports lets just hope those with their own agenda’s don’t spin this thing out of control. or in the madness of chaos of terrorism sometimes political pundits and spin doctors will use anything to push their own agenda in the face of tragedy for their clients own ends.

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October 23, 2007 at 4:18 am 1 comment

Makati Bombing: Investigation continues

The Makati Bombing Inquiry continues; I cose to call it still a bombing as theorys of a accidental explosion may yet prove to be part of the overall destruction seen in the area.

In a article I worte for a online news website – I tool up te status of the investigation and was there to look at what happened Sunday. Here’s my report an few other items I’ve put on the .info site of; There was a fire there sunday – an a few issues were raised about the overall situtation at the Philippines premier shopping district

Philippines: Death Toll Rises To 11, Arroyo Tells People To Defy The Terrorists, ‘Shop’, As Bombing Investigation Continues

Photo clockwise - Explosive swab text kits. Police Scene of the Crime, Operatives with blast fragment evidence, cleanup and investigation at Glorietta 2, Bottom - standby rescue and recovery team members on standby in case of emergency - Mike Cohen PNC
Photo clockwise – Explosive swab text kits. Police Scene of the Crime, Operatives with blast fragment evidence, cleanup and investigation at Glorietta 2, Bottom – standby rescue and recovery team members on standby in case of emergency – Mike Cohen PNC

Mike Cohen, Pacific News Center Correspondent 22.OCT.07
10:43 a.m. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has called on Filipinos to go out, enjoy life, and show those who use terror that while they can attack, they will never win against a free people. In the wake of the Makati mall bombing that killed eleven, “Let us show these malefactors that we will not surrender our freedoms nor change the pattern of our lives to suit their immoral cause of hatred and fear.” The President says, “The government is on top of the situation and we shall do everything to protect our people.”

The President’s spokesman urged people to go out, defy the threats, be sure and safe and take precautions – but do not let the killers win by staying home.. “Defeat the terrorists by going out and shopping.” Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye told listeners on government radio.

Crowds outside Glorietta mall in Makati on Sunday (Photo courtesy Mike Cohen)

Tuesday, in Manila, a full National Security Council meeting, including former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, Senate President Manuel Villar and Speaker Jose de Venecia and other leaders, will discuss the Makati City bombing and to adopt comprehensive measures, “that will assure the people’s safety.”

Investigators at the scene (Photo courtesy Mike Cohen)

The Arroyo administration has had success on its handling of the economy, both the World Bank and IMF list growth at 6.3 per cent, while the Asian development bank has put the Philippines as just behind China and India in growth projected figures. Tourism has also been steadily increasing but the financial center bombing has renewed concern over safety. “Travel advisories by concerned governments are
standard procedures anywhere in the world,” Sec. Ingnacio Bunye pointed out that the President is working to try and further secure the view of regional governments to avoid knee jerk reactions to the terrorist attack, “She has directed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to hold diplomatic briefings to assure foreign governments of
our commitment to find and arrest the perpetrators of this senseless, barbaric attack.”

Scene inside Glorietta mall on Sunday

Arroyo expressed thanks for support offered by the United States and other allies in the fight versus terrorism, “She is grateful for expressions of support from governments, institutions, business groups, and individual investors.” The President urged Filipinos to extend “cooperation in the Philippine National Police (PNP) investigation, as it strengthens security measures in public places within the metropolis.”

Glorietta mall from the outside (Photo courtesy Mike Cohen)

Both the Military and Police are on heightened alert, “We want to assure the people we are doing all we can to determine what happened, who did this, and how to ensure the country will be safe and people secure.” Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Armed Forces Chief of staff, told reporters as he took commuter trains with the National Police’s Chief
Superintendent Avelino Razon. Police are still probing the
investigation and warn that the groups claiming responsibility may only be attempts to confuse the investigation.

“We are still looking at this closely, we are making sure that the evidence chain is secure.” Razon also said they are also probing all angles, even a ‘industrial explosion’, or tragic accident as the cause of the blast. “We are almost sure this was a bomb, but we are also checking how it could have been so harsh a explosion and what kind of weapon was used.”

Philippine Makati Mall Bombing: Blast crater location indicates ‘middle class were targets’

My prayers to all the injured and my condolences for the families who lost loved ones – I’ve been doing reports overseas the last few hours.
In my post-bombing reports to news organizations about the bombing I was asked in a report I did a few hours ago- why there -what was the motive: at that […]

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Philippines to fight on versus terror

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said here today that the bombing of the Glorietta 2 shopping mall at the Ayala Center in Makati City last Friday, where 11 innocent people were killed and dozens of others were seriously injured, is a clear attempt by a certain group to destabilize the government and frustrate the positive outcome […]

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Philippines: ‘Fear, Not Bombs, Terror’s Worst Weapon’
Mike Cohen, Pacific News Center Correspondent 22.OCT.07
8:25 p.m. Philippine National Police, in a counter-terrorism primer emailed to journalists today, written by Chief Superintendent Augusto P Angcanan, Jr., say that speculation and political discord after a terror attack works to help those who seek to create chaos in the Philippines.” It is very important for all of us, including the public, to have a clear understanding of what terrorism is and how it works.” [more]

October 23, 2007 at 1:48 am Leave a comment

‘Guam gets Nuked’ Monday in massive U.S. terror drill

The US governemt launches it largest Anti-Terrorism drilll to date, the scenario is a Radiological or Nuclear weapon is let lose on America’s western most possession the US Pacific Island territory of Guam.

Called Top-Off 4 the drill is massive – involving more than 100,000 civilian and military participants from all over the USA.

TOPOFF 4 Begins On Monday

10:41 a.m. After months of planning and preparations, the nationwide wide exercise TOPOFF 4 officially gets underway on Monday. Guam is hosting the nationally mandated exercise to test the island’s, as well as the nation’s emergency responders, in the event there is another terrorist attack. [more]

K57 Interview – TOPOFF 4
PNC Staff Reporter 12.OCT.07
1:23 p.m. Shawn Gumataotao talks about the details of the upcoming TOPOFF 4 exercise, the different kinds of catastrophic scenarios and HAZMAT (hazardous materials) scenarios that will be simulated during the exercise. Ray Gibson conducts the interview on “The Breakfast Show on News Talk K57. Here is part 1 of the interview:

Click here to download the podcast if you can’t get the player to work.

Here is part 2 of the interview with Shawn Gumataotao on News Talk K57:

Click here to download the podcast if you can’t get the player to work

Based on Available information in the public domian here is what happenes Monday:
The T4 FSE is based on National Planning Scenario 11 (NPS-11). The scenario begins as terrorists, who have been planning attacks in Oregon, Arizona, and the U.S. Territory of Guam, successfully bring radioactive material into the United States. The first of three coordinated attacks occurs in Guam, with the simulated detonation of a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), or “dirty bomb,” causing casualties and wide-spread contamination in a populous area near a power plant. Similar attacks occur in the hours that follow in Portland and Phoenix. An RDD is not the same as a nuclear attack. It is a conventional explosive that, upon detonation, releases radioactive material into the surrounding area. Although it does not cause the type of catastrophic damage associated with a nuclear detonation, there are severe rescue, health, and long-term decontamination concerns associated with an RDD. Real weapons will not be used in the scenario, but the response will be mounted as if they had been.

Taking place October 15-24, 2007, the TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise (T4 FSE) will feature thousands of Federal, State, territorial, and local officials. These officials will engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat. The exercise will address policy and strategic issues that mobilize prevention and response systems, require participants to make difficult decisions, carry out essential functions, and challenge their ability to maintain a common operating picture during an incident of national significance. As in a real-world response, agencies and organizations will deploy staff into the field and will face realistic incident-specific challenges, including the allocation of limited response resources and exercise actions needed to effectively manage conditions as they emerge. Planning and preparation for the exercise will also help strengthen working relationships between departments and agencies that are critical to successful prevention and response in real emergencies.

The T4 FSE will involve more than 15,000 participants representing Federal, State, territorial, and local entities. For the first time, a U.S. Territory, Guam, will participate in the TOPOFF series, providing an opportunity to practice coordinated prevention and response activities between the continental U.S. and a U.S. territory. At the Federal level, exercise play will be marked by the coordinated participation of multiple agencies and departments. For example, in addition to response, DHS will be exercising prevention through its Terrorism Prevention Exercise Program (TPEP). In the weeks leading up to the full-scale exercise, law enforcement and intelligence community players will work the information gathering, intelligence analysis, and information sharing capabilities that help to thwart terrorist activities. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will mobilize around emerging public health issues related to a radiological emergency, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will run concurrent exercises to address global terror threats.

October 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Kabayan Addresses UN

VP Noli De Castro: Inter-Faith Respect Key To Peace

Philippine Vice President Noli De Castro Addresses the UN on Global need for greater Inter-faith Dialogue
Philippine Vice President Noli De Castro Addresses the UN on Global need for greater Inter-faith Dialogue

Mike Cohen, PNC Correspondent 09.OCT.07
3:38 A.M. When Philippine Vice President Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro delivered the Philippine Government’s Statement on Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Cooperation at the UN this week.
At the opening of the two-day High Level Dialogue for Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace at the UN General Assembly.
The speech of the Philippine Vice President set the tone for the ensuing dialogue and he hoped to raise awareness on the need to understand and promote cultural and religious harmony to attain peace through the Philippine experience.
De Castro, himself is from a Inter-faith home his wife Arlene, is Muslim, he has traveled far and wide in Mindanao during his broadcasting career prior to entering Politics.
As a journalist, De Castro has been both a witness and negotiator to danger of misunderstanding.
Respected for his work, he often had been called to mediate or help in hostage crisis, and many times went face to face with extremists to find out differences in places and under conditions few other leaders can claim have been firsthand. [more]

October 9, 2007 at 2:18 am Leave a comment

Cory to pray for John Stewart

Shortly after the Desperate housewives issue cropped up and a lot of people were have a bit escapism on the topic. And hours after ABC TV, came out with a formal appology. Here came John Stewart on the Daily Show and in its irreverent style bashed and smashed and twisted away at the Icon’s of women leaders of three countries.

I blogged about it, and as expected and predicted – the issue produced a lot of anger here in Manila because one of those hit.

Was former President Aquino, I repost the point here from my own blogsite which seems to clogged up a bit from so many sudden hits.

Like I wrote before below, a doubt the show will apologize – its not in their character.

Perhaps the dignified and well loved former President puts it best, that she will pray for those who did the short satire.

John, and crew, be afraid – be very afraid, it seems when she asks God for something he listens.

And in his time, he answers.

But, considering the irreverent bunch at comedy central’s daily show and the attitude they show to everyone they bash. i doubt they will repent, or relent to seek anyones forgiveness. Such is TV, such is satire –

Here is my take on it.

Forget the ‘Desperate Housewives’ protest – Comedy Central was worse · October 4th, 2007

If ABC – Capitol Cities -Disney, had it’s taste of Pinoy anger and petitions over the ‘treatment’ of Philippine Doctors.

AOL – Time Warner and its outfit Comedy Central are about to get a bit ‘whacked ‘ I predict, for a slur versus three women world leaders.

So, no not once but twice fil-am’s are upset over TV shows in the U.S.A., and perhaps even in two other countries – as a comedy central report on the daily show, bashed three of the worlds leading Woman Leaders.

Comedy Central is after-all a Joke – patterned on a newscast – it is filled with Saturday Night Live – like skits – passed off as news. It has had spin-off’s and some success.

The show has been also sued, numerous times and had to apologize a lot went they go too far.

I think ‘all in good fun is via bad taste – the motto – or show mantra.

Names of those hit this time, were Golda Mier, Margarette Thatcher, and yes, the Philippines own Corazon Aquino.

Cory Aquino a victim of ‘insensitive’ US TV joke, Philippines – 4 hours ago
By Dona Pazzibugan, Miko L. Morelos MANILA, Philippines– Senator Benigno Aquino III denounced as “insensitive” and “in extremely poor taste” a joke that

Joke about Corazon Aquino on US TV show ‘in poor taste’–son, Philippines – 9 hours ago
By Dona Pazzibugan MANILA, Philippines — Senator Benigno Aquino III denounced as “insensitive” and “in extremely poor taste” the joke played on his mother,

Comedy Central skit has Aquino family in uproar
Manila Standard Today, Philippines – 8 hours ago
The family of former President Corazon Aquino yesterday accused the producers of another US television show of maligning the ex-chief executive in a

‘The Daily Show’ segment labels Cory ‘slut’
GMA, Philippines – Oct 4, 2007
If the racial slur made in a scene in ABC TV’s ”Desperate Housewives” against Philippine medical schools had outraged the nation, Filipinos here and

October 6, 2007 at 7:43 am 1 comment

Philippines:Twin Bombing kills child injures dozens
Mike Cohen, PNC Correspondent 05.OCT.07
12:30p.m. UPDATE One child was killed and another two dozen are injured, some in critical condition. All are the victims of ‘twin explosions’ on commercial buildings near the center of the Southern Philippine city of Kidapawan in Cotabato Province.

Two IED’s, or improvised explosive devices, were used in the attack. The first a smaller device to scatter a crowd into a street towards a second larger device in front of Sugni Super Store, a large department store in the city.

‘The shrapnel scattered at ground level indicated by a large amount of leg and feet wounds.’ Chief Insp. Leo Ajero
speaking in a radio interview told DZXL radio in Manila.
Regional police counter terrorism experts suspect bombers from the Al Qaeda Asia franchise, Jemaah Islamiah, who are known to follow a pattern of closely coordinated attacks. [more]

October 5, 2007 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

More ‘Desperate Protests vs. ABC-TV’

‘Desperate Blogging’:… The Teri Hatcher & Marc Cherry Protest

October 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

ABC TV is getting a lot of millage out of the ‘desperate protests’ in the Philippines.
The hits up on the shows replay service in Asia, as People in Manila are looking to see just what Marc Cherry’s writers wrote – some doctors have here have petitioned the MTRCB to ban the show until an ap0pology […]

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October 3, 2007 at 10:19 pm Leave a comment

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