Who's the mad bomber?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-01-27
Your Chair Wrecker was lucky to have been watching Dr. Love on DZMM-TeleRadyo last Tuesday and enjoying the nostalgic music that program host Bro. Jun Banaag, OP dishes. I was scheduled to leave at 3 p.m. that day for the St. Luke’s Hospital in Global City for a Pet CT Scan at 5 p.m.

It was on Bro. Jun’s program where I came to know about the bomb which detonated at around 2 p.m. on the Newman Goldliner passenger bus along EDSA, near Buendia, and how that tragedy stopped all EDSA northbound traffic in order for police to secure the area and conduct an immediate investigation. Had I left home without knowing the EDSA bombing incident, we would have never made it to my 5 p.m. Pet CT Scan. We got there on time because we altered our route — taking the C-5 to Global City instead of EDSA.

While being worked up for my Pet CT Scan, I was exchanging text messages with my most reliable information sources which include some of our top intelligence officials. We were all trying to develop leads and clues as to who could be the mad bomber behind this latest bus bombing incident.

The immediate favorite suspect is of course the terrorist. We have the favorite usual suspect — the Abu Sayyaf. Then there are also the separatist movements in Mindanao, notably the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) and the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front). A top intelligence official shared this info — if the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) which was used for the bombing happens to be a mortar round - that is the signature of one of the separatist groups.

In the area of Islamic suspects, focus would be more on the Abu Sayyaf and the MILF. The MNLF is hardly making waves these days. For the Abu Sayyaf, it could have been reprisal for latest setbacks that they’ve suffered. For the MILF, it could mark the start of the HARD SELLING of the peace deal they want which comes closest to their dream of a having a virtual Islamic State under the protection of the US.

The CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) cannot also be ruled out. Their front organizations have been extremely active in rabble rousing against the President Noynoy Aquino administration. This bombing could be the next higher level of the Leftist destabilization plot against the Aquino administration.

It’s also possible that the mad bomber is none of the above — not the Abu Sayyaf, MILF, MNLF and CPP-NPA. It could also be a diversionary tactic to remove the heat on certain people.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo had asserted that the suspected carjacking syndicate of the Dominguez brothers must have protectors in high places of the government, including the police. Sec. Robredo cited the likely involvement of some officials of the LTO (Land Transportation Office) in the carjacking syndicate’s operation. If that’s true, then this bombing incident cannot be ruled out as a possible diversionary tactic.

Media heat is to a big crime syndicate what the rays of the sun are to a vampire. Media heat puts extreme pressure on the authorities to ferret out the truth and dismantle a notorious crime syndicate. The longer the carjacking issue is the top news story of the day, the more the carjacking operators and protectors will feel running out of space and time.
Desperate situations provoke desperate measures.

There is also another angle that investigators cannot rule out — another possible diversionary tactic by yet another big group. This refers to the current controversial plea bargain deal extended to former AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Comptroller (Retired) Major General Carlos Garcia. On the belief that Gen. Garcia could not have acted alone, the trail has gone all to way to the Presidential Palace under the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime.

Former State Auditor Heidi Mendoza had revealed that an order from the top was sent for her to go easy on investigating Gen. Garcia. This recent revelation is more than enough to make some big thieves feel very threatened and uncomfortable. Considering that military people are involved in this case, the suspicion cannot be ruled out by the investigators.

Hopefully, the bus bombing was the result of a personal act of vindictiveness or a lesson from an extortion syndicate. Under these two conditions, there is no national security concern to worry about.

Apparently the perpetrators (it could also be groups now riding on the incident) are stepping up the terrifying impact. Text messages have been circulating warning people of more bombings and advising them to stay indoors.

Our government cannot always prevent incidents like this January 25 bus bombing along EDSA. The US couldn’t prevent 9-11. Even a country like Russia couldn’t prevent that January 24 bombing incident in Moscow’s Demodedovo Airport which had killed at least 35 persons, injuring over 150 others. We can’t match Russia’s security capabilities and yet that Moscow bomb detonated in a highly secured area.

The public antidote to these violent acts is to remain vigilant and we mustn’t allow these terrorists to disrupt our normal activities. Disruption is the chief goal of the terrorist.
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