THE horror brought by the bombing of a packed commuter trains in Manila on December 30, 2000, by a group of renegade Islamic extremist continues to haunt the police.
Some 20 people died and scores were seriously injured in the attacks blamed on the Jemaah Islamiah, a pan-regional group linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.
Metro Manila Police chief, Director Reynaldo Varilla, on Saturday admitted that they have yet to get over the stigma brought by one of the deadliest terror attacks in the country’s capital.
Police and military intelligence agents arrested yesterday in Marawi City a suspected bomb expert who was implicated in the Rizal Day bombings in Metro Manila in 2000 that killed 12 people.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Region Police director Chief Superintendent Bensali Jabarani said Ansar Bernardino Venancio, alias Hasan Venancio, was arrested in his hideout in Marawi City.
Police learned that Venancio is linked to the Indonesia-based Southeast Asia terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which in turn has connections with the al-Qaeda international terror network led by Osama bin Laden.
The Rizal Day bombings, also referred to as the December 30 bombings, were a series of bombings that occurred around Metro Manila in the Philippines on December 30, 2000. The explosions occurred in close succession within a span of a few hours. Twenty-two fatalities were reported and around a hundred more suffered non-fatal injuries.
The blasts occurred during a national holiday in the Philippines, where December 30 is known as Rizal Day, commemorating the martyrdom of the country's national hero, José Rizal.