MALAYA: 1 dead, 3 solons hurt in Batasan explosion

(Updates and corrections by Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar died last night at the FEU Medical Center due to blast injuries. Basilan Rep. Henry Tevez was taken to New Era Hospital. The report below was published and printed before 10:00 pm, Nov. 13.)

ONE person died and at least three congressmen and seven staff members were hurt when a suspected bomb exploded at the Batasang Pambansa last night.

The fatality was identified as Marcial Tualdo, the driver of Gabriela party list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan.

The wounded congressmen were Ilagan, Wahab Akbar of Basilan and Henry Teves of Negros Oriental. They were brought to the Malvar General Hospital.

Speaker Jose de Venecia said that based on report of NCRPO chief Geary Barias, the bomb exploded at the south wing around 8:10 p.m. right after session was adjourned.

“I condemn in the strongest term this cowardly, dastardly attack against Congress of the Philippines,” said De Venecia.

“We were debating on the cheaper medicines bill para maaprove na sana. At 8:06 na- adjourn na. I left at three or five minutes bago sumabog.

“I have requested Gen. (Bayani) Fabic, house secretary general and Gen. Barias to have a clean sweep to make sure that no other bombs are left behind,” he said. He said most likely they will hold session today. “We want to show them that we are not afraid otherwise they will completely terrorize us,” said.

Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza said witnesses said a bomb could have been placed inside a Toyota Fortuner (RVH 778) which went up in flames.

Reports said the car was Akbar’s.

Gabriela press officer Janice Lee Monte said Ilagan was about to board her van when the vehicle beside her exploded.

President Arroyo directed PNP chief Avelino Razon to personally supervise the investigation.

She told Razon to make periodic reports as warranted.

The NCR Police Office declared full alert and put up checkpoints in Metro Manila. – Wendell Vigilia, Anthony Ian Cruz, Raymond Africa and Regina Bengco

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