Philippines: Blasts rock Quezon and Mandaluyong city

Two explosions rocked the main office of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) in Mandaluyong City and the Puregold supermarket in Quezon City. Both the blasts came in a span of two hours from each other early Monday morning (local time). No one was injured or killed in the blasts.

The first blast took place at about 3am in front of the SMC building at the corner of Julia Vargas and San Miguel avenues in Mandaluyong City which damaged the company’s metal emblem embedded on a marble wall and formed a small crater on the ground just below the signage. Explosives and Ordnance Disposal personnel recovered a plastic container. The components recovered do not show signs to suggest that the bomb was homemade. The police meanwhile have denied any signs of a terror attack. The blasts used explosives that had minimal impact and contained no shrapnel.

Nothing related to terrorism,” said Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, the Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson, in a text message to GMANews.TV.

The second explosion was reported at about 5:15 a.m. at the main entrance of Puregold Supermarket at the corner of Luzon and Commonwealth avenues in Quezon City. No death or injury was reported from this site too though the explosive used was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). In a similar incident on October 30 this year, two explosions took place in Quezon City and in the Pasig side of the Ortigas business district. In the earlier incident too there were no casualties and minimal property damage was reported.

The management of the Puregold has denied any labor trouble which was also seen as a reason behind the blasts. Metro police chief Director Roberto Rosales also rejected any such leads in preliminary findings.

The police authorities are meanwhile also trying to figure out any links between the two blasts which seem to have used different explosives. They are also investigating linkage with the October 30 blasts. While the police have no witness in the SMC explosion, a witness had seen a suspect lobbing a package which emitted white smoke before exploding. October 30 blasts also involved similar explosives which emitted white smoke prior to blasts.

The suspects could have lighted the explosive before lobbing it. The fact that there’s white smoke before the explosion means there is a time fuse in the improvised explosive,” (Arnulfo) Franco (Inspector of the Quezon City Police District <QCPD> Explosive and Ordnance Division) said.

Senior Superintendent Carlos de Sagun, Mandaluyong police chief, has meanwhile ordered increased police visibility in the area especially “from sunset to sunrise.” He said that he has also ordered the SMC security officer to station guards near the area where blast happened.

We still don’t know if it was TNT or C4. We’ll know that from the results of the investigation conducted by Scene of the Crime Operatives who examined the site,” he said.

Rosales meanwhile appealed to the local residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious individuals or activity.

Video here.

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