glorietta, media, and blogs

it was not unexpected that the philippine national police would find for a gas explosion, not for an explosive device. matagal na nilang sinasabi that evidence was pointing to a critical build-up of gases that could have been prevented if the guys in charge were doing their job.

but it was unexpected that the police would recommend charges only against the engineers, operators, and fire prevention officers who were immediately responsible for safety measures, and not against the mall owner nor city hall. unexpected because matagal na silang naghi-hint that the the pnp was not beyond charging even ayala land and mayor binay for command responsibility if warranted. kaya na nga panay ang press release ng ayala land before this, contesting findings of a gas explosion and negligence.

puno‘s excuse:

“. .. it was just that repairing the malfunctioning sewage system was not the job of the owners while those who had been charged had immediate responsibility for the repairs of the sewage system.”

pero kaya nga tinawag na “command” responsibility, di ba. kahit hindi ka directly responsible for repairs, pero kung mga tao mo ang pumalpak – june july august pa lang daw me problema na ang sewage system – ibig sabihin may pagkukulang ka rin. kasi kung on-top-of-the-situation ka, kung maayos ang palakad mo, wala sanang pumalpak, wala sanang namatay at nasugatan.

i smell a rat. maybe a backroom ex-deal (puno style) between ayala and malacanang. hmm. maybe re charter change? or maybe that is still to come, and nagpapapogi lang ang palasyo sa mga ayala.

not that i’m completely sold on the negligence charge.

i was expecting that anc, as is usual with important developments, would have some resource persons, maybe an engineer or two, to share their expert opinions, but no, not this time. later in the evening ricky carandang devoted the whole hour of the big picture to the same story, but again we had to listen to the same pnp guys rehashing what we had already heard, with ricky just clarifying the double blast, the ayala investigations, and the rdx angle.

the biggest let-down of all, not just from anc but from all media is that no one has yet asked the BIG question posed by some bloggers and, i hear, science e-groups, soon after the blast: conceding, for the sake of argument, that it was indeed not a bomb but a gas explosion. WHAT IF it was not a matter of criminal negligence but, rather, a matter of creative criminal engineering? surely it is humanly possible to orchestrate such a blast? what would it take? why is it not being considered by the police as a distinct possibility?

nakakadismaya our media. no time to read, no time to research, no time for critical thinking. paano kasi, ang he-hectic ng buhay. bread trip. one show after another, one deadline after another, no time to read read read and google and surf the internet, much less to turn on to pinoy blogs, where some of the discourse is remarkably (happily) higher than in broadsheet and broadcast media.


  1. I still don’t buy the PNP theory. You are right, anything can be orchestrated. Absence of a crater does not mean there was no bomb. A well placed shaped charge can change the entire picture. What behooves me is the PNP’s big turnaround after saying they found RDX residue and bomb fragments. They quickly reported this just a day after the blast.

    If memory serves me right, Biazon had 2 witnesses who sought protection. They were tasked to conduct bombings and put the blame on terrorists and pave the way for GMA to declare martial law.

    I think there was a miscalculation by the real perpetrators and the suspicion of the public made them to rethink their strategy.