Maanne Ilagan Lopez

Pillbox explosion injures PCU-HS students

Blue and Silver October 2006

Pillbox explosion injures PCU-HS students

A pillbox explosion incident injured hour Philippine Christian University High School (PCU-HS) students last September 6 at the Freedom Park at around 7:30 p.m.

A report from the Manila Police District-Explosive Ordinance Disposal Section (MPD-EODS) indicates that the pillbox contained pyrotechnic or low explosive powder inside a Yakult plastic container.

The explosion left a white mark on the cemented floor measuring about 10 inches in diameter.

Agent Raul Manguera, Chief Counter Action Section; Agent Romeo Cotringio, Chief Explosive Ordinance Disposal Section of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Terrorism Division; Elias David Lagasca, MPD-EODS chief; and SPO2 Berlito Pined, Police Station No.5 case investigator, conducted a post blast investigation on the explosion incident.

The investigation result showed that the pillbox contained low explosive powders, although its residues are being examined for further investigation.

Prior to the said incident, Pineda said that the identity of the suspects and their motive are not clearly defined so further investigations are still being conducted.

The pillbox explosion incident injured four PCU-HS students, namely: Tynel Bañas, 15, at his right forehead and thigh; Noeme Llego, 15, at his right chest; Kendrick Soledad, 15, at his right collar bone; and Juymuluck Tiquio, 16, at his left leg.

The victims were immediately brought to the University Clinic for first aid attention.

Dr. Imelda Belmonte, PCU physician, applied first aid before they were brought to the Mary Johnston Hopital (MJH) for further medical attention.

Daniel Visca, PCU football team assistant coach, said the shrapnel gave Llego a deep wound at the chest.

Nakuhaan siya ng shrapnel nung inoperahan sa intensive care unit (ICU). Na-confine siya ng two to three days, tapos sabi ng doctor kailangan niya magpahinga ng one month. (The doctor found shrapnel during his operation in ICU. He was confined for two to three days and was advised to rest for a month.)”

Based on the reports of Noriel Maaba and Dellie Sarreal, security officials, the alleged perpetrators were some students from another high school with whom the victims had argument with a week before the explosion incident.

Eric Valentin and Mario Daroy, security guards, said the suspects are still at large.

Hindi pa nahuhuli yung two suspects. Teenager sila mga 5’7’’, kasi nagmamadali silang sumakay ng jeep papuntang Vito Cruz (The suspects, both teenagers and about 5’7’’, escaped as they immediately rode a Vito Cruz bound jeep.)”

Falling out

One of the victims said the guards did not respond immediately after the explosion.

Hindi sila tumulong, Nung may sumabog, tinignan lang nila kami. (They did not help us. After the explosion, they only stared at us.),” said John Carlo Atienza, PCU football team captain.

Kami-kami lang yung nagdala sa kanila sa clinic. Tapos si coach yung nagdala sa kanila sa MJH. (We [football players] were the ones who brought the victims to the clinic. After that, our coach brought them to MJH.)”

The team’s assistant coach opined the guards’ response to the incident. “Hindi sila kaagad kumilos. Hindi nila tinignan kung sino yung bumato. Wala akong nakitang ginawa nila after ng pagsabog. (They did not respond immediately. They did not locate who threw the pillbox, I did not see any action from them after the explosion.),” said Visca.

Pag may ganung emergency, dapat sinasarado ng mga guards ang gates. Ganun ang dapat para ma-secure yung lugar. (The guards should close the gates during an emergency. That is the proper way to secure the place.)”

Rev. Samson Almarez, University Security Committee chairperson, defended the action of the guards on the security situation and their slow response to the incident.

“The outgoing guards were resting, while the guards on duty could not leave the gate. They have to secure the vicinity para sa mga susunod pang pagsabog. Ang nag-respond agad yun gmga taong nanonood (for other possible explosions. Those eho respondend immediately were the people watching the team’s practice.)”

Almarez furthered that Maaba phoned him at home regarding the explosion. He then told Maaba to report the matter to the MPD for police assistance and NBI for further investigation.

Tighter Security

Almarez said the security guards always follow their protocol in times of emergency.

They should find out the cause and report the matter to the police. Then gates must be closed and the people are asked to clear the area.

“They (people) are supposed to vacate the entrance and exit, so they (police) could do the investigation.”

The football team’s assistant coach said that the University fence should be elevates, however Almrez is against the idea.

“That could not be done. The plan of the University is to clear that side (Guidance Office) of the school. We cannot do that immediately kasi kailangan na naman ng pera (because we will again need money).”

Maanne Lopez, Junessa Meiji Bañal, Althea Jaskha Quito


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