Here’s a job for history. As a historian, my first instinct was to look at previous events. Are there no clues to help us piece together what happened yesterday? (Read my initial report, then my mom’s personal account plus some videos.)
While the investigations are still underway, it is always helpful to note that this isn’t the first mall bombing though it is arguably the largest and most devastating so far. We may not yet be able to establish the immediate causes of yesterday’s event, but let us see if we can establish a pattern, a continuity of events if you will by looking at the history of mall bombings.
What follows is an Inquirer research report filed by Cyril Bonabente. Let’s add to this list when more information surfaces.
May 17, 2000 — A homemade explosive rocks the Glorietta Mall at 5:02 p.m., injuring 12 persons, mostly teenagers. The bomb was reportedly placed in front of a toilet beside a video arcade. The blast causes the collapse of the ceiling of the pedestrian bridge connecting Glorietta 3 to Park Square 2.
May 21, 2000 — A janitor is killed and 17 are injured when a bomb exploded inside a restroom in a cinema at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
Before dawn on May 27, 2000, the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force raids a community in Taguig and arrests 26 suspects in both the Glorietta and Megamall bombings.
Dec. 30, 2000 –Fourteen people are killed and 91 more are injured in synchronized bombings in different parts of Metro Manila. The targets include a Light Rail Transit coach, Plaza Ferguson in front of the US Embassy in Manila, an abandoned gasoline station in front of Dusit Hotel in Makati City, a passenger bus in Cubao, Quezon City, and the cargo handling section of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.
Captured in January 2002 for illegal possession of explosives is Jemaah Islamiyah member Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi, an Indonesian who admits funding the attacks. He is sentenced in April 2002 to 12 years in prison, but escapes on July 14, 2003 from Camp Crame with two suspected Abu Sayyaf members. They are later killed in what was seen as a case of summary execution.
Feb. 27, 2004 –A bomb explodes inside a SuperFerry ship that is sailing off Manila Bay, killing over 100 people. The Abu Sayyaf Group later claims responsibility for the killings.
Feb. 14, 2005 –Four people are killed and at least 60 more are wounded when a passenger bus was bombed in Makati City. On the same day, a mall in General Santos City and a bus terminal in Davao are also bombed, killing four and injuring 36.
Abu Sayyaf spokesperson Abu Solayman says on radio: “This is our Valentine gift to Gloria.”
On Oct. 28, 2005, Makati City Judge Marissa Macaraig-Guillen sentences to death Indonesian Rohmat Abdurrohim and Filipinos Gamal Baharan (alias Tapay) and Angelo Trinidad (alias Abu Khalil) for the Valentine’s Day bombings.
A fourth accused, Gappal Bannah Asali (alias “Boy Negro”), escaped the death penalty by turning state witness.
October 19, 2007, Makati City, an explosion rocks Glorietta 2, killing 9 and injuring over 100. The causes are not yet established although the LPG theory has been ruled out. A lot are entertaining the possibility of a bomb.
So what happens next? Who do you think are behind the plot? The story continues.