Davao explosion: What we know so far
Over 12 hours after a strong explosion rocked the popular night market on Roxas Boulevard in Davao City, the casualty toll now stands at 14 dead and 71 wounded. At least 10 of the victims were reported to have died at the blast site.
- According to the Twitter account of Atenews, the Ateneo de Davao student publication, the explosion occurred at around 10:20 pm on Friday, September 2. The night market is located on the street fronting the Ateneo de Davao campus.
- Sometime past 11 pm, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte arrived at the site and called on the public to stay calm. Later he disclosed that the city had received a bomb threat two days earlier. “Ang sabi [It said] do not pass this around so tumahimik na lang ako [so I just kept quiet],” he said. He also issued a statement confirming that at least 10 persons had died in the explosion.
- Sometime past 4 am, at the blast site, President Duterte told reporters he was declaring a state of lawlessness. His commander-in-chief powers allow the President to call out the military to do police work in case of “lawless violence.” He emphasized: “It’s not martial law but it would require nationwide, well-coordinated efforts of the military and the police.”
- At this same briefing, the President announced that the scope of his declaration was nationwide: “Lahat,” he said.
- Early on Saturday morning, reports saying the Abu Sayyaf bandit group claimed responsibility for the bombing surfaced. The Associated Press reported that the claim was made by a spokesman named Abu Rami. Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno also confirmed in a radio interview that the bandit group had made the claim.
- Mid-morning of Saturday, a statement issued in the name of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed that he had ordered the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines on high alert. “I have directed all commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be on high alert especially in urban centers for possible other terroristic act attempts by this group,” Lorenzana said in the statement.
- The Philippine National Police also undertook parallel precautions. “In connection to the explosion incident in Davao City last night, full alert is hereby declared nationwide,” the memorandum issued by Chief Supt. Camilo Cascolan, of the Directorate for Operations, read.
- At around 10 am, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar announced that President Duterte had cancelled his Brunei visit — what would have been his first presidential trip. “The Brunei trip is cancelled,” Andanar said in a text message to reporters.
- Before noon, Abu Sayyaf denied that it was behind the deadly attack. Instead, the terrorist group pointed to ally Daulat Ul Islamiya as the perpetrator of the bombing.
- At 4 pm Saturday, as announced by Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, a memorial service for the victims of the explosion will take place, at the site of the blast. —JN
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.