Cause of blast still unclear – Roxas

Angela Casauay
(3rd UPDATE) Roxas: Bomb-sniffing dogs find no residue of explosives

MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said Saturday, June 1, that the cause of the explosion at a Serendra building is still unclear, although 3 teams of bomb-sniffing dogs initially found no residue of bombs or explosive devices in the area.

At a press conference in Serendra, Taguig, Roxas said: “We are not ruling out anything.” But he said that as of now, investigators have not found any triggering device in the debris. “Sa ngayon, wala pang nakikitang trigerring device among the debris.” (As of now, we have not seen any triggering device among the debris.)

The police dispatched 3 teams of bomb-sniffing dogs which did not discover any explosive residue, he added. “Hindi sila nag-register ng pagka-detect ng bomba. ‘Di pa ma-rule out na hindi bomba, pero ang masasabi ko ay hindi nag-register sa bomb-sniffing dogs.” (They haven’t detected a bomb. We cannot rule out a bomb, but what I can say is that bomb-sniffing dogs haven’t detected it.)

Three were killed in the Friday, May 31 blast that occurred shortly past 8 pm at Building B of the posh Serendra residential-commercial area. Five others were wounded, including an American and a minor.

Among the injured, Angelito San Juan of Unit 501, where the blast apparently occurred, was brought to the ICU in St Luke’s Taguig. He’s in stable condition, Roxas said. He was on his way out of the unit when the blast occurred. 

Ayala Land Inc President Antonio Aquino said the lease contract of San Juan shows that he is leasing the unit from May 31 to June 9. 

The others who were injured were identified as Allen Gool, an American citizen who’s still at St Lukes and who lives on the 6th floor of the building; Louise Lorenzo, a passerby who was already discharged Friday night; Janette Bonjock, a minor who’s still at St Luke’s; and April Joy Garcia, 19, discharged Friday night.

The 3 fatalities were all employees of Abenson. Based on information from Rizal Funeral Homes, Pasay City, the 3 Abenson employees who died were identified as Marlon Castillo Bandiola, 29, from Cavite; Jeffrey Cunanan Umali, 32, from Sta Mesa, Manila, company driver; and Sallymar Natividad, 41, from Bulacan.

CCTV footage being reviewed

Police found a used fire extinguisher in Unit 506, as well as indications of burn marks in Unit 306 during the initial investigation. 

Roxas said investigation also revealed that San Juan had complained that his unit was “hot” or there was a feeling of “suffocation” prior to the blast. 

Authorities are now reviewing CCTV footage in the building to determine the sequence of events before the explosion. 

While investigation is ongoing, 22nd Avenue will be closed to motorists. In other areas across Bonifacio Global City, business goes on as usual–

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