CDO officials assure support for blast victims

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/28 July) — An outpouring of support and sympathy poured from the local government and residents for the victims of the bomb explosion at the Limketkai Rosario Arcade on Friday night.

Many of the victims were physicians and medical representatives attending the national midyear convention of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians.

Cagayan de Oro Representatives Rufus Rodriguez (2nd district) and Rolando Uy (1st district) and Mayor Oscar Moreno called a press conference Sunday morning where they pledged financial support to the victims as well as residents who were also injured in the bombing incident.

“We are ashamed that this happened to them. The victims came here because they think they would be safe in our city. We will help them to the best of our efforts,” Rodriguez said.

Six persons died and 48 others were injured when an explosion ripped through a row of restaurants at the Limketkai Rosario Arcade Friday night.

Rodriguez said of the 48 persons injured last Friday night, only 16 remained at the hospitals. He said 10 of the victims were out-of-towners who attended the medical convention.

Two of the victims whom Rodriguez and the Cagayan de Oro City Social Welfare and Development identified as Marciano Agustin III and Reynaldo Dalupan are still in critical condition at the Polymedic Plaza in Cagayan de Oro.

Agustin and Dalupan are both physicians from Manila who attended the medical convention at the Grand Caprice Restaurant at the LimKetKai compound.

Rodriguez said he, his brother, Abante Party-list Rep. Maxie Rodriguez, Uy and Moreno have agreed to pool their resources to pay the medical bills of the blast victims. He said the pledge of medical support will also be made available to the victims from the city.

He said social workers have been assigned in all of the hospitals where the victims are confined to assist them while they are recuperating.

“Many of the victims are not from here and do not have any family in our city. We do not want them to feel alone as they recuperate,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the remains of the three fatalities—Emmannuel Palafox, a district manager of pharmaceutical firm Novartis Sandoz; Anthony Canete, a resident of Iligan City; and Jose Ryan Estose, also a resident of Iligan City—were already brought home by their families late Saturday.

He said the local government of Cagayan de Oro made sure that the necessary documents like the death certificates were fast-tracked for the families.

The outpouring of support also came from residents who were horrified that the bloody incident happened in this relatively peaceful city.

“Devastatingly shocking! One with you in prayer. May the innocent victims rest in peace & may God give strength to their families & friends left behind. & may all those who survived be granted courage, strength & comfort to go on,” blogger Marissa Gorospe Gustillo posted in Facebook.

“What a condemnable and despicable act! This has no place in a peaceful community like ours. We will leave no stone unturned in the investigation. Perpetrators must be identified and [the] motive determined, swiftly and thoroughly. Justice must be fully served,” Mayor Moreno said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)