Duterte visits Leyte blast victims

Lian Buan
Duterte visits Leyte blast victims
The victims were watching a boxing match in the town plaza when the explosions occurred

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, December 30, kept his promise to visit the wounded victims of a bombing incident at the town plaza in Hilongos, Leyte. 

After leading the Rizal Day Commemoration Rites at the Luneta Park Friday morning, Duterte took the presidential chopper to Ormoc and headed to the Hilongos District Hospital where some of the 33 victims were recovering.

Duterte checked on the condition of Chris Angel and Cris Jan Abina, the youngest of the victims who were watching a boxing match as part of their fiesta celebration when the explosions occurred.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visits the victims of an IED explosion at Hilongos District Hospital on December 30,2016. TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo

According to the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) were detonated by a cellphone.

Duterte was joined in Leyte by officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who were given instructions to extend help to the wounded survivors.

While Duterte believed that sympathizers of the Islamic State (ISIS) are behind the bombings in Mindanao, he does not think that the bombing in Leyte was perpetrated by terrorists. He said he suspects it was related to illegal drugs.

Brigadier General Raul M. Farnacio of the 8th Infantry Division said the blast could be a retaliatory move of drug syndicates against the police because there are no terror groups in Hilongos.

President Rodrigo Duterte listens to a resident doctor as he visits the the wounded victims of the recent explosion in Hilongos, Leyte on December 30. ALBERT ALCAIN/ Presidential Photo

Excitement can be seen in the faces of the residents of Hilongos, Leyte as President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the Hilongos District Hospital to visit the wounded victims of the recent explosion in the same town, on December 30. ALBERT ALCAIN/ Presidential Photo

Excitement can be seen in the faces of the residents of Hilongos, Leyte as President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the Hilongos District Hospital to visit the wounded victims of the recent explosion in the same town, on December 30. ALBERT ALCAIN/ Presidential Photo

– Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.