Batasang Pambansa Bombing

At about 8pm today, there was an explosion at the South Wing of the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, which is where Congress holds its sessions. I was monitoring the news on television earlier and so far, 2 people have been reported to have died -- a driver and a congressman.

Eight other people have been injured. Injuries range from burns to fractures, as reported on TV. It is said that the explosion happened at the lobby of the South Wing, right after Congress' session which was why there were numerous people who were still around.

Another session is scheduled for tomorrow and the congressmen say that this will push through. I thought it was kind of strange (or should I say uncanny) that on the day that a full page ad appeared in the newspapers demanding the stepping down of GMA and the holding of snap elections, this explosion happens. Whodunnit? Well, who's behind it isn't as important to me as trying to make sense of the whole situation. What do they aim to accomplish? Can they accomplish their objectives without hurting and killing innocent Filipinos?

It has been bad news one after the other in the last few days. Prior to this incident, everyone had been talking and writing about Mariannet Amper, the 12 year old student from Davao City who committed suicide as she felt hopeless and helpless about her being impoverished.

Mr. Nandy Pacheco, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Ang Kapatiran Party sent a letter to the editor of the Philippine Star, expressing his views about the passing away of Mariannet. While not related to the bombing tonight, his sentiments focus on how we are all collectively responsible for each other and how prayer can be a way for us to change our country and the world.

I share with you here, some portions of his letter:

"...Ask not what you can do for Marrianet. Ask what you can do to help improve the social and economic conditions that drove her to commit suicide -- and prevent others from doing the same...

Her death reminds us that we are responsible for one another and, collectively, we are responsible for the world in which we live, and that much is expected from those to whom much has been given...

But first we must have a vision for our barangay as we have a vision for our family. And that vision is for all members of the family and the barangay to experience life in its fullness, by living for God and for others. We are all sisters and brothers under the Fatherhood of God. Life in its fullness means that every Barangayeno should enjoy all the satisfaction of all his/her basic needs, as well as the fulfillment of his/her aspirations in life...

Theologian Karl Barth once said:'To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.'"

Mariannet and the people who perished or were injured today may not be part of your or my barangay, but they are part of our nation. Every individual who passes away by violence or poverty is a call for us to review what we have personally done to improve this little corner of this country that we have been given. True, we cannot aim to solve all of this nation's problems -- that may be too much for one person to accomplish but it is also not proper to remain unaffected or unfazed by all these happenings.

Will you say a prayer for the soul of Mariannet and also for those who perished and were hurt in the bombing tonight? Then, please say a prayer for all Filipinos and the Philippines. May the day when we shall see peace, progress, and prosperity flourish in our country come sooner than we expect.

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, November 13, 2007]


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