Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Statements coming from the Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and US Ambassador Kristie Kenney seem to be pointing the police investigation into the Glorietta 2 explosion towards a conclusion that is more of a desired outcome rather than a factual result.

The Philippine National Police, although already leaning towards the accidental blast theory, is still saying that they have not ruled out all angles, including a terror attack. They are still in the process of investigating the incident and have not come out with a final report.

This makes the statements of the Executive Secretary and the US Ambassador pre-emptive and inappropriate. At worst, given that the police are in the middle of an investigation, it may be said to be irresponsible.

Last week, Executive Secretary Ermita said that he was relieved that a terror attack had been ruled out, although that time until now, the PNP still does not have a final report. He said that the country’s economy would be “graveley affected” had the explosion been attributed to a terrorist attack. He was quoted as saying, “It will affect our economy, our standing in the world community, our international investors, mabuti na lang at hindi talaga mga terorista iyan.” Again, this statement was made while the investigation was still going on and the PNP was making statements that the terror angle was still not categorically ruled out.

Today, Ambassador Kenney was reported to have cautioned those who say the blast was not an accident “should realize what a terror attack in Metro Manila would mean to the country.”

Although she said that an accident in the heart of a city “is never a good thing," she also said, "But it is much better than having it to be a bomb. If there was a bombing at a shopping mall in the middle of Metro Manila, I want you to think about the kind of travel advisory America would have to put out and the devastating impact that would have on business."

The ambassador’s concern is very much appreciated by her statement gives one a feeling that the Philippines has no choice but to say it is an accidental explosion otherwise, America will cut us off from the world with a travel advisory. Whatever happened to the war against terror?

Given these pre-emptive statements by two very important personalities, I wouldn’t blame the PNP if they get a feeling that they will be doing the country a great favor if their final report says that the blast was an accidental explosion. After all, they would be saving the country from what the two officials portray as an economic tragedy.

These statements issued while there is an ongoing investigation may affect its outcome. The statements provide a “moral justification” in directing the investigation towards a more desirable conclusion and may be misconstrued as encouraging a cover up. It puts pressure on the investigators to pursue one angle instead of exploring all angles then systematically and scientifically eliminating the impossible and coming up with the truth.

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