ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/28 November) – Police authorities are looking for three persons who could help them shed light on Sunday night’s bombing incident in a budget hotel in this city.
The blast, which killed three persons and injured 27 others, took place around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. It also destroyed one of the two two-storey buildings of the Atilano Pension House located in Barangay Canelar this city.
The explosion was followed by a fire, which firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) put out after almost an hour.
Director Felicisimo Khu, chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO)-West said one of the three was only identified as Nap, and is said to be a Marine soldier who was occupying Room 226 where the bomb exploded.
Khu clarified however that “Nap” is not considered as a suspect in the bombing.
The official said the other two persons are a man and a woman who checked in at Room 222 but hurriedly left the hotel 30 minutes before the explosion.
Mayor Celso Lobregat said the three were not among the victims who were either killed or wounded.
“We are looking for them since they can help us shed light on the incident,” he said.
The mayor said he was informed by the hotel owner that the two-storey building has a total of 35 rooms with 80 registered occupants.
However, not all of them were around when the explosion occurred, Lobregat said.
Twenty-two of them are family members, relatives and friends of Clifford Lanipa, an architect from Pagadian City who was set to marry a Zamboangueña Monday afternoon.
Lanipa and his wife-to-be were not among the victims since they were not around at the time of the incident.
But Lanipa’s father, Claro, an employee of the Philippine Information Agency-Pagadian City, his mother and a sister were among the 27 wounded victims.
Of the three killed, one of them was a woman identified only as Maris. She was dead by the time she arrived at the hospital.
The other two were identified as Rowel Barcelona and Fidel Agias, whose remains were recovered Sunday night and Monday morning, respectively.
Meanwhile, City Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos said that of the 27 wounded victims, 17 were already discharged from the hospitals.
He said that of those who were still confined, two, including a child, were in critical condition.
Some of the other victims suffered fractures, he added. (MindaNews)