11 hurt in 2 Zamboanga blasts

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/09 October) – Two bomb explosions rocked this city one after the other Sunday amid the celebration of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival injuring 11 persons, including boxers, a referee, and cockfight aficionados.

The first explosion took place 12:25 p.m. at the cockpit in barangay San Roque, six kilometers west of this city.

Police investigation showed that the bomb was placed at the upper part of the cockpit’s bleacher and it exploded while cockfights were set to start. Five persons were injured and the bleacher was damaged.

The injured cockpit aficionados were identified as Ricky Gaganacruz, Crisaldo Dela Peña, Marlon Candido, Ike Castiri, and Ediron Sandoval.

The second explosion took place around 12:30 p.m. at a pension house just beside the inter-provincial bus terminal in Barangay Guiwan, 3.4 kilometers east of this city.

Investigation showed that the bomb exploded at Room 2-B on the second floor of Red Palm Pension House where out-of-town boxers and a referee had checked in.

Wounded were Marvin Artes, boxing referee; Speedy Jim Boy Bantisel, and Ronie Munding, both boxers from Maranding, Lala, Lanao del Norte; Jerome Tuyor and Jeffrey Jimenez, boxers from Dipolog City, and Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, respectively; and, Christopher Delos Reyes, a bakeshop employee.

The boxers, who were resting when the bomb exploded, were occupying Room 2-A.

They were supposed to fight in Monday’s “Golpe-Golpe na Zamboanga” (Boxing in Zamboanga), which is among the activities of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2011.

Second district Rep. Erico Basilio Fabian, the sponsor of the Golpe-Golpe na Zamboanga, said the boxing fights will push through as scheduled at the Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum “but there will be lesser bouts.”

Bomb experts had gone to the explosion sites to determine the type of explosives used.

Mayor Celso Lobregat convened the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) to review the security measures for the festival.

The highlight of the festival is the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar, the city’s patron saint. (MindaNews)