3 dead, 140 hurt in Boston bomb attack
The FBI’s investigation into the bombings at the Boston Marathon was in full swing Tuesday, with authorities serving a warrant on a suburban Boston home and appealing for any private video, audio and still images of the blasts that killed three and wounded 140.
Officials said no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings on one of the city’s most famous civic holidays, Patriots Day. But the blasts that left the streets spattered with blood and glass raised fears of a terrorist attack.
President Barack Obama was careful not to use the words “terror” or “terrorism” as he spoke at the White House Monday after the deadly bombings, but an administration official said the bombings were being treated as an act of terrorism.
“We will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this,” the president said. “Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
A European security official said Tuesday initial evidence indicates that the attacks were not the work of suicide bombers.
The possibility of a terror attack during a road race or sports event in Cebu is remote, but it’s good to be extra vigilant in the wake of the bombings that marred the recent Boston Marathon, assured local organizers of sports events and road races .“Cebu is fairly safe and we have good coordination with the PNP and a great partnership with the local government during our events, whether it’s big or small,” said Perl Jacalan, owner of Advertising Services and Promotions (ASAP Cebu), the company that handled the much-praised Cebu Marathon from 2010 to 2012.
Race director Joel Baring echoed this sentiment but said there was a need to be more vigilant regardless of whether or not Cebu is a target for terrorist attacks.
“There’s no reason for us to feel threatened, but it’s always good to take precautionary measures considering that terror can strike anywhere. What we can do is increase the number of marshals and deploy bomb sniffing dogs especially for big events and train them to be watchful,” said Baring.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it has beefed up its intelligence monitoring of the Abu Sayyaf and other threat groups in the country following the bombing in the Boston Marathon.
Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesman, said various police units have been coordinating with the military, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica).
“I wish to announce that we have not monitored any specific and similar threat. We assure the general public that the PNP will be on guard against security threats,” Cerbo said in a news briefing at Camp Crame.
“With that bombing incident in Boston, we will intensify our intelligence monitoring. We are ready for any eventuality,” he added.
Since the running boom hit Cebu in 2009, weekend race calendars have been filled with back-to-back fun runs, half marathons, marathons and triathlons.
The biggest of the local road races is the Cebu Marathon on the second Sunday of January, right before the Sinulog revelry.
The event, organized by the Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC) attracts visiting runners from Manila, other provinces, and foreign entrants as well.
“Security and safety of the runners and spectators are the most important aspects of any event, especially a large scale one like the marathon,” said CERC’s John Pages.
“With next year’s Cebu Marathon, extra measures will be taken for sure.”
The Cebu Marathon is the only road race in Cebu City where traffic managers allow total road closure throughout the 42.195-kilometer route.
The route is manned by at least 300 marshals and volunteers from the local running community, schools, the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) and the police.
The marathon is by nature a journey run on the open roads passing through communities, making total security of the entire route difficult. “The challenge with an event like the marathon is the very long 42K route, thus, more difficult to manage”, said Pages./with an AP report
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.