BONG REBLANDO, Manila Bulletin
DAVAO CITY – Thirteen persons were reported killed when a bomb exploded at 7 p.m. yesterday in the arrival area of the port in Sasa, Davao City, which was crowded with passengers disembarking from a cruise boat from Manila and many well-wishers.
Thirty-five others were wounded in the explosion.
President Macapagal Arroyo placed last night all Davao provinces in a state of lawlessness following the deadly bomb blast that ripped near the Sasa Wharf in Davao.
The President directed the military and police to conduct a crackdown on lawless elements, terrorists
to hunt down the perpetrators of the bombing incident, the second major terrorist act that hit the province this year.
The province include Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, and Davao Oriental.
The fatalities and the wounded persons were not immediately identified.
The number of fatalities could rise as many people, both boat passengers and those meeting them, were wounded in the explosion in the waiting area of Superferry 15, the luxury cruise ship of WG&A shipping lines.
“It was a very loud explosion and many people were seen falling to the ground,” said Danny Reyes, a former reporter of the Sunstar, now working with theTask Force Detainees of the the Philippines (TFD).
A boat passenger, Amy Joyce Fernandez, said the bomb was appparently carried by one of the passengers.
“It was horrible seeing several people blown out while others fell to the ground when the powerful explosion occurred,” another witness said.